Dutch police have launched an international manhunt for a Scottish fugitive wanted in connection with the murder of a crime blogger outside a brothel.

Christopher Hughes was seen with Martin Kok on the night he was shot near the Boccacio Club in the town of Laren in December 2016 - just hours after a previous attempt on his life failed.

Hughes, 30, is understood to have links with Glasgow cocaine kingpins James and Barry Gillespie and Dutch crime news show 'Opsporing Verzocht,' claims one of his associates may live in the Amsterdam and Rotterdam areas.

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Authorities are also investigating links between the pair and a phone company selling encrypted devices favoured by criminals.

Police Scotland say they are liaising with their counterparts in the Netherlands over the search, which is being supported by Europol officers in The Hague.

Kok, who previously served 15 years in prison for murder and extortion, began the Vlinderscrime website shortly after his release - using the platform to expose the Dutch criminal underworld.

The site quickly attracted attention for Kok’s cavalier approach to reporting, which included ‘naming and shaming’ those suspected of being involved in criminal activity.

Dramatic CCTV footage from the night of his murder shows a lone gunman approach Mr Kok from behind in an Amsterdam alleyway, only to fail to carry out the killing.

Hughes is said to have met Kok in an Amsterdam bar before the pair drove to the club, around 25 miles from the city on the evening of December 8.

Hours later, as Mr Kok entered his silver Volkswagen Polo outside the club, a shooter emerged from the bushes and fired at the windscreen, killing him.

HeraldScotland: A European arrest warrant was issued for Hughes, top right, along ith his associates as part of Operation EscaladeA European arrest warrant was issued for Hughes, top right, along ith his associates as part of Operation Escalade

Several sources have tied the murder to a known contract killer, however officers in the Netherlands are now keen to find Hughes and his associates in connection with their part in the incident.

Mourners at his funeral were forced to walk through a metal detector due to fears over gangland violence.

In 2015, Kok was the victim of an attempted shooting at his home and a year later, explosives experts were called to defuse a device discovered underneath his car.

A Europol spokesperson confirmed they were supporting Dutch and Scottish authorities in the search.

In February, European arrest warrants were issued for Hughes, along with the Gillespie brothers and other known associates including James White, 41, and Jordan Owen, 24.

All five are wanted by detectives from Operation Escalade - the investigation into one of the country's top-tier serious organised crime groups.

Over 200 specialist officers from Australia, Colombia, Canada and FBI drug specialists have joined the international search for the brothers - who were last rumoured to be hiding in Brazil.

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A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have been liaising with colleagues in the Netherlands in connection with the murder of Martin Kok.”

He added: “Enquiries are ongoing."

Dutch police also suspect Ridouan Taghi, one of Europe’s most wanted men, was involved in the killing.

They have offered a €5,000 reward for information on Hughes’ whereabouts.