Locating The Netherlands’ Most Wanted Criminal By Scrutinising Instagram
By Henk Van Ess
A fugitive convict from the Netherlands is taunting Dutch police with provocative pictures and videos from Iran, playing a game of “catch me if you can” on Instagram. “I love my freedom. And the weather,” he has stated.
Bellingcat was able to reveal the last known location of the criminal with the help of over 60 Twitter users. Here’s how we did that.
Shahin Gheiybe is a convicted criminal hiding in Iran
The fugitive, 35-year-old Shahin Gheiybe, ranks #1 on the Dutch “Most Wanted” list. On July 5, 2011, Gheiybe was sentenced for two attempted murders. In the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, on July 6, 2009, he tried to kill two individuals by shooting at them. He also robbed them of 175,000 euros. Gheiybe, born in Iran, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of thirteen years.
He managed to escape from prison on October 6, 2011, and has been on the run ever since. The police in the Netherlands have searched for this individual since then.
The convict posts on Instagram (there are over 170 photos and videos) about his whereabouts (here is the original link to his private account, and a backup link), mostly in Iran. He has almost never tagged himself with a specific geolocation, just towns and places. Only once, for a street in Teheran, the coordinates were very precise. Gheiybe’s Instagram account was created in July 2015. It became private this month, after he landed on the list of most wanted criminals.
His last Instagram post is a clip from Scarface (archived post). Gheiybe’s Instagram account contains provocative material, like personal videos accusing the ruling judge in the Netherlands, claiming “the truth is very different.” He tries to explain to his followers he is a nice guy who made a mistake.
A Dutch police spokesperson …read more