Dutch gangsters going to South America for some illegal business face a high risk of ending up murdered. In just two years, four men were killed, while another survived getting shot in the head in Panama. All of them were deeply involved in the Netherlands’ underworld.
One week ago, on December 11, 23-year-old Mitchell Jansen was assassinated in Medellin, Colombia. According to sources, he was shot in Barrio Miranda, a neighborhood slightly to the east of the center of Medellin. Barrio Miranda is known for its prostitution, housing plenty of brothels. Colombian media reported that Janssen was a frequent visitor of the area’s whorehouses.
Jansen was linked to a group of young criminals from Amsterdam who have allegedly been involved in various gangland hits, Dutch newspaper Het Parool reports. On December 15, 2014, police discovered guns and ammo in a storage box owned by Jansen.
On one of the guns, investigators found DNA belonging to a man who was later, in May 2016, convicted of arranging a murder. This man was one of four who were arrested on February 1, 2015, in the Knokkestraat in Amsterdam. According to court transcripts, they were planning to murder a gangster called Samir Z. Another one of the four men was said to also have been involved in the hit attempt on Chahid Yakhlaf on November 1, 2014. Yakhlaf didn’t live too long, though. He was killed at the end of 2015.
The criminal case against Jansen regarding the discovery of firearms was still ongoing. There was also another case against him involving money laundering. Quite the charges for such a young man.
Jansen came in contact with police at an early age. In 2011, he was suspected of attempting to hit a police officer with his car. He allegedly stole two motorcycles, one in August of 2014 and another in November that same year.
Mitchell Jansen was the second Amsterdam gangster who was shot to death in Colombia in a very short time. On September 23, two men on a motorcycle shot to death 34-year-old Suriname-Dutch criminal Micah Jona Johnson in front of a barbershop in Cali. Johnson was known on the streets as “Mikey” and “C-Murder.”
Johnson is an alleged associate of August Adjoeba, a feared crime boss who was murdered in August of 2008. After his death, a message appeared on website mamjo.com in which the writer claimed that Adjoeba had sent C-Murder “to break big mouth boy’s house.” The “big mouth boy” the writer referred to is said to be the Surinamese gangster Siegfried “Piet” Wortel. In March 2014, Wortel received a 7-year prison sentence for leading a criminal organization trafficking in cocaine.
Micah Johnson was arrested by Dutch police in 2005 after a shooting with a group of Albanians. Johnson had even been held hostage by the Albanians who wanted to rob a shipment of drugs from him. Johnson had wanted to scam the Albanians by selling them fake drugs. After being held captive for a short time he managed to escape and – with a police surveillance unit watching – shot at the Albanians. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the shooting.
In July of 2008, Adjoeba and Johnson allegedly kidnapped another Surinamese drug trafficker in Amsterdam. The man was freed by police and shortly thereafter Adjoeba was assassinated himself.
According to Dutch newspaper Het Parool, Johnson was threatened frequently when he was in Amsterdam and he therefore began avoiding the city, preferring to lay low in Santo Domingo.
In 2014, however, he was convicted of conspiring to smuggle drugs from Jamaica to Belgium, though he was acquitted of being part of “Piet” Wortel’s criminal organization.
Local Colombian newspapers report that Johnson arranged cocaine deals on behest of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel. People who knew Johnson found this a far-fetched story.
There were several other murders of gangsters from the Dutch epicenter of Amsterdam in South America. Marchano Pocorni (left) was murdered in the city of Paramaribo in Suriname on March 2, 2015. Several months earlier, in December of 2014, Khalid Jafaar was shot and killed in Panama. Though his criminal record only showed some traffic violations, he was known to have connections to people around Dutch drug lord Gwenette Martha, who himself was killed as well.
And then there was the one that got away. In January of 2015, Sjaak Burger (right) survived an attempt on his life in Panama. He was shot in the head, but still lived to tell plenty of tales. He was a suspect in weapons trafficking and several murders and became a government witness after surviving the failed hit that had been caught on a security video camera - see photo at top of page.
Whether these killings were the result of a gangland conflict back in the Netherlands or whether these Dutch gangsters had overstayed their welcome at their South American getaway, is unknown. Regardless of where they were when it happened, dead is dead. But from now on, Dutch gangsters going to South America will keep their eyes and ears open, as despite the warm sun, they are not on a relaxing holiday.
Milko (a pseudonym) is a Dutchman who has studied organized crime in the Netherlands, its history, and its offshoots in foreign countries for over two decades.
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