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Gang member helped arrange murder of Dutch journalist

A member of an organised crime gang who helped arrange the murder of a Dutch journalist has been jailed.

Christopher Hughes, 33, was with Martin Kok, 49, when he was shot and killed outside the Boccaccio Club in Laren, Holland on 8 December 2016. He had alerted others to Mr Kok’s location and let them know when he was leaving the club.

Earlier the same day, Hughes had also sent word to others when the pair were leaving the Citizen M hotel in Amsterdam, when an attempt was made on Mr Kok’s life.

On Friday, Hughes was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 25 years for his involvement in the murder and in serious organised crime.

For almost seven years, between 1 July 2013 and 7 January 2020, Hughes was involved in an organised crime group with international reach. He was involved in the importation and supply of cocaine, firearms and ammunition, money laundering, and the setting up a company to supply encrypted communication devices to gangs throughout the world.

Laura Buchan, Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework, said: “Christopher Hughes was a key member of an organised crime gang for many years, facilitating criminal behaviour which culminated in the brutal murder of Martin Kok.

“The conviction of Hughes was truly a collaborative and international effort, and COPFS worked closely with colleagues in both Scotland and Holland to ensure Hughes answered for his actions. It is thanks to this great work with international justice colleagues that we were able to prosecute Hughes.

“In particular, Police Scotland carried out exceptional work on what was a complex and lengthy investigation.

“Organised crime does great harm to communities in Scotland and beyond and we will continue to work with partners in the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce to tackle these groups."