Local government officials are often far too lax in their dealings with the owners of cannabis-selling cafes and risk becoming embroiled in organised crime, police chief Max Daniel says in an interview with Monday’s Volkskrant.
‘A local council only sees the businessman who owns the cafe but cannot, or does not want, to see the world operating behind him,’ Daniel said. ‘As a council you must never build up relationships with coffee shop owners because the risks are too great.’
The police chief is charged with combating the role of organised crime in marijuana production.
In some cases, local councils even allow coffee shop owners to invest in property development or sponsor local football clubs, he said.
The court case against the country’s biggest coffee shop, the Checkpoint cafe in Teurneuzen, will resume this week. The cafe, which served an estimated 3,000 customers a day, was closed by the council in 2008.
The trial was suspended in November following claims that there is a photograph in circulation showing the cafe’s owner and the former mayor of Teurneuzen together on the Caribbean island of Curacao.
But the public prosecution department said at the weekend there is no evidence the photograph actually exists.