Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Top Ten Fugitive Destinations


Home is where the drugs are for the many who flee to Amsterdam while facing drug-related charges elsewhere. In December 2007, Australia's most wanted fugitive, known in Melbourne's underworld only as "Supergrass," was arrested while trying to board a plane in Amsterdam. Having become an informant after being arrested with two kilos of cocaine, the former drug dealer to A-list stars and crooked cops, was allowed to leave the country on the condition that he return to give evidence. The one-time night club bouncer, whose name was suppressed following a court order, never came back until his arrest three years later.

Lee Rushing
Lee Rushing

Also busted in Holland's capital city was American Lee Rushing, who was finally arrested in 2008 after being on the run following the collapse of a 1992 conspiracy in which he and three others imported 50,000 pounds of hashish into Washington state via boat.

PROS: Networking opportunities abound for drug dealers. While personal-use amounts of soft drugs are legal, production, stocking and selling of hard drugs is not, so infiltrating the underworld may take some time. In an effort to protect children from drug dealers, Zeeburg, a suburb of Amsterdam, recently imposed an experimental program in which special "street coaches" send kids 12 and under seen roaming the streets home after 10 p.m. This means no irksome tweens chatting and texting nearby when you're trying to conduct late night business.

CONS: Amsterdam's approach to drugs is not as lax as some think — local law enforcement cracks down hard on distribution operations. On the bright side, it's one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, so your final attempt at a getaway can at least be eco-friendly.

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