Suspect in shooting of Dutch journalist linked to Moroccan gang
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Suspect in shooting of Dutch journalist linked to Moroccan gang

Peter R de Vries. © ANP via Belga

The Rotterdam man arrested in connection with the shooting on Wednesday of Dutch investigative journalist Peter R de Vries has been closely linked to the organised crime group led by Ridouan Taghi, De Morgen reports.

De Vries is still in critical condition in hospital suffering from gunshot wounds, including at least one to the head. His condition has not changed since he was admitted, when he was described by the mayor of Amsterdam as ‘fighting for his life’.

As soon as the attack occurred, all eyes turned to Taghi. The man himself is already in custody in connection with a series of assaults and murders, but many of his confederates remain at large.

The man suspected of shooting de Vries is 21-year-old Delano G., is the nephew of Jaoud ‘Joey’ W., a co-accused in the Taghi case. The shooting has all the hallmarks of a targetted assassination.

De Vries was selected as the person of confidence of the key witness in the so-called Marengo trial involving Taghi’s gang. The journalist is a voracious investigator of crimes at both official and street level, and accepted the position despite the advice of colleagues.

In the manner of the Italian mafia of the early 1990s, the Taghi gang has made a reputation for simply murdering its enemies and the witnesses against them.

The lawyer for the key witness, who is in protective custody, has seen his lawyer murdered in the street, as well as the man’s brother. De Vries knew he was a target, but his professional instincts would not allow him to refuse.

The question now is, with all that was known about the gang and the fact de Vries was clearly a target, how could a 21-year-old simply walk up to him in the street in Amsterdam and fire four or five shots?

The shooter, together with a 35-year-old Polish accomplice who helped him escape until the two were tracked down, is now in custody.