Dutch Crown Princess Moves Out of Student Home Over Fear of "Drug Mafia Kidnap Plot"
Threat interrupts princess's freshman year.
The Crown Princess of the Netherlands, Princess Amalia, has moved out of her student housing and returned to the royal palace after the Dutch drug mafia threatened to kidnap or attack her. "It is very sad that these kinds of measures are needed now," says one terrorism expert. Read on to find out who authorities believe is responsible for the threat, and what the king and queen have to say about the development.
The UK Times reported that Amalia, 18, was already taking security precautions—she was only leaving her apartment to attend classes at the University of Amsterdam. But when intercepted criminal communications turned up a kidnapping threat (Mark Rutte, the prime minister, was also mentioned), she was urged to go into lockdown at the palace.
"She can hardly leave the house," said Queen Máxima, referring to the Huis ten Bosch royal residence in the Hague. "It makes me a bit emotional. It has huge consequences for her life," she said. "It's not nice to see your child live like that. She can go to university, but that's it." King Willem-Alexander said: "I can't describe it, it's really tough."
Amalia is next in line to the throne. She is studying politics, psychology, law and economics and was living in an apartment with other students.
Some experts expressed dismay at the development. "Other princes and princesses have always been able to study. It is very sad that these kinds of measures are needed now," Edwin Bakker, professor of terrorism and counterterrorism at Leiden University, told the Het Parool newspaper. "Everything will have been done to allow Amalia to simply live in Amsterdam, something to which she has every right, but this is extremely difficult if there is a major threat."
The Times reports that the kidnapping threat has been investigated for six weeks and comes from Ridouan Taghi, 44, a mafia figure on trial in Amsterdam. His group is believed to control cocaine imports into Europe. Over the past year, he ordered the murder of a key witness, a senior prosecutor, and a journalist.
Wiretaps turned up the kidnapping threats against the princess and prime minister. "What happens goes beyond crime. It is so disruptive that it is socially disruptive, it is an attack on the democratic legal order," said Bakker.
"I'm very sorry for her and I'm obviously very concerned about it," said the prime minister, who asserted that authorities were working to keep the princess safe. "I guarantee that our security services work hard day and night to guarantee her safety," tweeted Dilan Yesilgöz, the minister of justice and security. "It is terrible that this is necessary, in the first place for the Crown Princess herself."