Over the past four months, the police forces in Netherlands have been engaged in a never-ending battle against what one mayor described as “the cancer which is eating away at the heart of our nation.”
Mayor Van der Laan was not referring to the rape gangs of illegal immigrants, or to drunk British youth, whose ideal vacation must include at least one arrest or a good fight. The mayor was of course talking about illegal unlicensed gambling.
In accordance with the mayor’s wishes, police have already raided, fined and permanently closed three such unlicensed lairs of vice. Earlier this month in the back room of a dilapidated eatery, Red Café, six ancient geezers were caught red-handed playing a game of poker.
“The café was permanently shut down amid much applause,” read the mayor’s press release, “We are making great progress with the help of concerned citizens.”
This week, a new target was on the agenda, as a confidential informant relayed news of another illegal weekly poker game, this time located in the back room of a local lunchroom. The public computer inside the lunchroom was allegedly used by minors to bet on sports in Netherlands.
The raid uncovered what police sources describe as an international meeting of organized crime figures from around the world. According to police sources, it was hard to tell who was more surprised, the thirty or so hardened gangster playing poker, or the four police officers who were expecting to find octogenarians or under-aged weepy-eyed teens.
“The 29 individuals found inside were nationals of six countries, including 16 Dutch citizens. Each individual within the luncheonette had a lengthy police record for offenses ranging from murder and bank robbery to drug trafficking and kidnapping convictions.
By pure coincidence, even the cook, the waitress and the dish washer were convicted felons,” a source close to the investigation disclosed.
The poker loving gangsters were briefly questioned and released due to a lack of evidence. The police suggested that the men could continue their ‘reunion party’ at the nearby Holland Casino.
Holland Casino is the government operated gambling monopoly, created under Dutch gambling laws, and the only provider of legal gambling services throughout the country.
During the next day’s press conference, police described the raid as ‘a great success in the war against unlicensed poker. The city has voided the business license; permanently shutting down this illegal establishment’.
According to the online gambling news in Netherlands, the luncheonette was also ‘permanently shut down’ in mid-2008 for breaking the Opium Act (Opiumwet), when police stumbled upon a multi-million euro heroin distribution network.
It is unclear how the luncheonette was able to re-open a week later, but the police detectives promise that this time it will be closed indefinitely.