Netherlands Worldwide

What to do if you are arrested abroad

Find out what to do if you are arrested in a foreign country, or if this happens to a family member or friend.

I have been arrested abroad

If you have been arrested in a foreign country, contact the Dutch embassy or consulate in that country. If there is no Dutch embassy or consulate, you can contact the embassy of another EU country.

Contact the Dutch embassy or consulate

More information for people arrested abroad

You will get an information pack

If you have been arrested the Dutch embassy or consulate will send you an information pack. It contains general information and an explanation of the legal rules and procedures that apply in the country where you have been arrested.

No special treatment

The embassy or consulate cannot get you released or arrange special treatment. They must respect the laws of the country in question.

If you are given a prison sentence

If you are put in prison abroad, the embassy or consulate can help you by acting as an intermediary. For example, they can help make sure that you are treated the same as other prisoners. But they cannot get you out of prison or arrange special treatment.

A family member or friend has been arrested abroad

If a family member or friend is arrested in a foreign country, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. Call the Netherlands Worldwide contact centre on +31 247 247 247.

When a Dutch national is arrested, the local authorities will contact the Dutch embassy or consulate as soon as possible. But only if the person who has been arrested wants them to do so.

More information if a family member or friend is arrested

Getting information about the arrested person

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can act as an intermediary between you and the arrested person. The ministry cannot share information about an arrested person without their permission. This is due to the General Data Protection Regulation (privacy law; information in Dutch).

Transferring money to someone in a foreign prison

If a family member or friend is in a foreign prison, you can usually deposit money for them in the prison’s account. If this is not possible, you can transfer money to them via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Your family member or friend then receives the money from the Dutch embassy or consulate. We charge a one-off fee of €50 for this service.