Former Newcastle United defender Jetro Willems has expressed shock after police seized two guns during a raid at a home he owns in Barendrecht, Holland. Two men were arrested after the weapons were found in a property rented out by Willems. However, the footballer, who now plays for Groningen FC, has insisted that he knows nothing about the raid as he has not lived in the house for two years. Willems said he previously stayed there with a girlfriend but left when their relationship ended. He then rented the home out through a real estate agent and moved to Groningen.
Willems, 28, told reporters that he was “naturally shocked” by the news. He added: “But I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t been there for a long time.” A spokesman for the police said that a 28-year-old man from Rotterdam and a 22-year-old man from Dordrecht were arrested and two firearms were seized. The raid was part of an ongoing investigation.
Willems joined Groningen this year after playing as a defender at Newcastle United between 2019 and 2020. He scored his first Premier League goal for the Magpies against Liverpool during their Premier League clash in September 2019. The ex-Sparta player then scored again for the side in their 2-2 draw against Manchester City in November of the same year.
Speaking about the raid, Willems told RTV Noord that he found out about it when a journalist contacted him. He added: “I was just taking a shower here at home in Groningen. They asked if I knew anything and said that two boys had been arrested, but I couldn’t explain anything. I asked my parents to take a look and I immediately went to Rotterdam by car myself.”
The incident has raised questions about gun control in Holland, which has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe. The country has a low rate of gun-related crime, with only 0.46 gun homicides per 100,000 people in 2018. By contrast, the US had a rate of 4.46 gun homicides per 100,000 people in the same year.
The Dutch government has introduced a number of measures to reduce gun violence, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons and a requirement for gun owners to have a licence. However, there have been concerns about the availability of illegal firearms in the country. In 2019, police seized more than 12,000 illegal guns and parts in the Netherlands.
The incident involving Willems is likely to add to calls for tougher action on gun crime in Holland. The country’s politicians have been under pressure to take action following a series of high-profile shootings in recent years. In 2019, three people were killed and five injured in a shooting on a tram in Utrecht. The gunman was later arrested and charged with murder.
The incident also highlights the risks associated with owning property that is rented out to others. Landlords may be held liable for criminal activities that take place on their premises, even if they are not directly involved. This can include drug dealing, prostitution, and other illegal activities. Landlords are advised to carry out regular inspections of their properties and to report any suspicious activity to the police.
In conclusion, the incident involving Jetro Willems has raised concerns about gun control in Holland and highlighted the risks associated with owning rental property. It is important for landlords to be vigilant and to take steps to prevent criminal activities from taking place on their premises. Meanwhile, the Dutch government may come under pressure to take tougher action on gun crime following this latest incident.