World

Dutch justice minister and deputy quit over millions paid by prosecutors to drug trafficker

The two leaders of the Dutch Security and Justice Ministry have quit amid a scandal over a deal made 15 years ago in which a convicted drug trafficker was paid millions of guilders by prosecutors who were actually trying to strip him of his criminal profits.

Justice and Security Minister Ivo Opstelten and his junior minister, Fred Teeven, announced their resignations late Monday, hours after the ministry announced it had uncovered the exact amount — 4.7 million guilders — paid 15 years ago to the drug trafficker identified as Cees H.

The deal was done in 2000 by Teeven who was, at the time, a public prosecutor.

Opstelten, a close confidante of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, says he quit because he earlier told lawmakers that the amount was far lower.