Former gangster Martin Kok 'shot dead' outside sex club

Former gangster Martin Kok ‘shot dead’ outside sex club

A man who was shot dead outside a sex club is reported to be the former gangster turned crime blogger Martin Kok. The shooting happened late last night in a car park outside the Boccaccio club in Laren, North Holland. Police refused to confirm reports by NOS that Kok was the victim. The 49-year-old spent 15 years in jail for offences including manslaughter and extortion before setting up a crime website, Vlinderscrime, on his release. He had previously run an escort agency from his prison cell. He was the target of previous attempts on his life and property. Earlier this year Kok found a bomb underneath his car, while last year his house and car were sprayed with bullets. 'I take it as a compliment when someone puts me on a hit list,' Kok said after the most recent incident. NOS reporter Remco Andringa commented: 'He put everything he heard on the criminal circuit on his site. That made him a lot of enemies, partly because he used the full names of those involved.'  More >

Verdict in Wilders' racial hatred trial

Rotterdam risks dropping out of top 10 global ports ranking MP and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders will hear later on Friday whether or not he has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred and discrimination. The public prosecution department says Wilders should be fined €5,000 for leading his supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant during a post election meeting in 2014. During a post vote meeting with supporters in The Hague, Wilders asked the crowd ‘and do you want more or fewer Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?’ To which the crowd chanted ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’. ‘We’ll arrange that,’ Wilders said, smiling, when the chanting died down. The verdict comes three months before the March general elections. Wilders' PVV party is currently leading in several opinion polls, after losing support over the past few months. Popularity Political analysts say the trial, which he refused to attend until the last day, has boosted his popularity. Wilders used his right of reply on the last day to say the trial is a political one. 'If they want to silence me, they will have to kill me first,' he said. If convicted, Wilders 'will be able to play the victim of the regime and the establishment,' Andre Krowel of the VU University in Amsterdam told AFP. 'The worst thing that can happen is for him to lose this publicity,' said Joost van Spanje of Amsterdam University. 'Either way, for him it is a win win situation.' Sociologist Koen Damhuis told the NRC  that Wilders' supporters are furious he has been taken to court. 'They see it has the ultimate proof of just how low we have sunk in the Netherlands,' he said. 'They won't drop Wilders if he is convicted, and many of them think he should be given a statue.'  More >

Rotterdam could drop out of top 10 ports

Rotterdam risks dropping out of top 10 global ports ranking Rotterdam port risks falling out of the top 10 seaports rankings worldwide over the next few years. Other ports around the globe, particularly in Asia, are growing at a faster pace, the port authority's director Allard Castelein told the Financieele Dagblad on Friday. Rotterdam was the largest seaport in the world until 2004, but lost its top spot to Chinese ports. Ningho & Zhoushan was the biggest port in 2014, when Rotterdam was ranked eighth. Castelein said there is a projected 1% decline in throughput in the port this year over the record 466 million tonnes recorded in 2015. He attributed this to lower transhipments of coal and iron ore. There was a slight increase in the number of containers handled. 'A port is more than tonnes,' Castelein said, adding Rotterdam is striving to attract more companies producing value added goods. Another goal is to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the area's petrochemicals industry, he said.  More >

Army veterans to go to court over pensions

Rotterdam risks dropping out of top 10 global ports ranking Armed forces veterans and civilian personnel are going to court to demand a solution to their pension shortfalls following the government's decision to raise the pension age in stages to 67. On Thursday MPs voted narrowly against an opposition motion which would have ensured former soldiers were compensated for the pension gap . Soldiers and civilian personnel have to retire earlier than the current state pension age of 65 but measures have been taken to close that gap. However, nothing has been done to make up the shortfall between 65 and 67. Some 17,500 military personnel are affected. Fully compensating soldiers would cost up to €600m by 2035, experts say. Former soldiers now plan to take the issue to court again to fight for more cash to tide them over until the state pension kicks in. A number have already sent back their long service medals in protest at the government's failure to act.  More >

Ajax and AZ move on in Europa League

Rotterdam risks dropping out of top 10 global ports ranking Two Dutch clubs – AZ and Ajax – have made it through to the knock-out rounds of the Europa League after wins on Thursday evening. But Rotterdam side Feyenoord is out of the Europa League after losing 1-0 at home to Turkish team Fenerbahçe. Manchester United ended second in group A with a 2-0 win over Zorja Loegansk. AZ of Alkmaar had better luck AZ with a 3-2 win over FC Zenit and will move on to the knock-out stage after the winter break. Ajax, already assured of a place in the knock-out competition, drew 1-1 away against Standard Liege. The match was held up for a time in the first half after fireworks were thrown on the pitch by Dutch fans. The incident led Ajax director Edwin van der Sar to apologise to the Belgian club. ‘It is a stain on this game and on the good European campaign we have fought,’ he said. ‘This sort of incident is totally out of order.’ On Thursday, PSV was put out of the Champions League after drawing 0-0 against Rostov. The point put the Russian side into third place in Group D tie.  More >