HARTFORD, Conn. — An ex-U.S. Army Ranger from Connecticut faces extradition to the Netherlands where authorities say he was part of a plot by former and active duty American soldiers who hired themselves out as a professional hit squad and murdered a German businessman.
Jacob Mazeika grew up in Bristol and was living in New Haven when federal marshals picked him up last spring at the request of the government of the Netherlands, which claims that Mazeika, with comrades from Iraq and Afghanistan, worked for a Swiss businessman trying to collect a commercial debt worth millions of dollars.
Much of the Dutch investigation, revealed by U.S. prosecutors in federal court filings, reads like spy fiction: Ex-military specialists summoned from across the world. Plans made to track and neutralize the target. Escape by night train to Zurich. Payoff in euro. Efficient Dutch crack the case using the European cellphone network to track killers crossing and recrossing European borders.
The Dutch say the Swiss businessman behind the murder plot is Lukas Fecker, a self-described mergers and acquisition specialist who buys failing businesses and claims to turn them around. The victim is Thomas Schwarz, a German who, since 2018, lived in Bergen in southwest Holland, a mile or so from the German border near Düsseldorf.
Schwarz, who is believed to have been in his 30s, worked for a Dutch fruit and vegetable distributor. More important, he owned stock in Taurus Farms, an organic fruit and vegetable operation in Macedonia financed by German investors and described in the court filings as failing. It appears, from what the Dutch police dug up, that Taurus Farms was at the center of a financial dispute that cost Schwarz his life.
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Source: Hastings Tribune