Monday, April 02, 2007

Amsterdam organized crime trial marred by rocket fire

The Trial

Today a major organized crime boss went on trial. Willem Holleeder is a Dutch crime boss who is suspected of blackmailing a number of super wealthy Real Estate Investors, the Donald Trumps of The Netherlands, so to speak.

The rise of Dutch organized crime

Mr. Holleeder is one of several major crime bosses who rose to power in the 70ies and 80ies. Mainly on the flourishing drug trade of which Holland is a major European hub. The first big Dutch Godfather was "The Reverend" Bruinsma, who amongst other things ran mariuana, heroin, cocain smuggling businesses. Mr. Bruinsma was shot in 1991 by a former policeman in posh Amsterdam - South.

Mr. Holleeder became a prominent criminal when he kidnapped brewer Freddie Heineken and his driver in 1983. Willem "Nose" Holleeder was apprehended by the police, but managed to stash part of the ransom of roughly 16 million US Dollar away.

When Holleeder was released from jail he invested his money in real estate and brothels.

From Brothels to Blackmail

Around 2001 Holleeder allegedly started blackmailing a number of Real Estate moguls: Willem Endstra, Erik de Vlieger and some smaller Real Estate investors. Holleeder demanded more and more money from Endstra on the threat of death. The cornered Endstra started to talk to the police, but never dared to press charges against Holleeder. In the end Mr. Willem Endstra was killed on 17 May 2004.

The Blackmail becoming public knowledge

The transcripts of the talks between Mr. Endstra and the criminal intelligence unit of the police (CIE) were obtained by journalists who turned it into a book: the Endstra Tapes ("Dutch"), with exegesis of the transcripts by crime journalists Bart Middelburg and Paul Vugts ("Dutch"). The Endstra Tapes were originally published by Jort Kelder on QuoteNet. As the blackmailing of the Real Estate Tycoons had become public, the authorities were hardpressed to take action. A crime investigation team was assembled and big-nosed Willem was arrested.

The consiglieri

Willem Holleeder had a well-prepared defense team. Where Mr. Endstra was regarded as the banker of the crime world, the man hired by Willem Holleeder to represent him in court was Meester Bram Moszkowicz, the "consiglieri" of the Dutch underworld.

However this defense was undone by the work of a journalist: Jort Kelder again of QuteNet. After Jort Kelder of QuoteNet called Meester Moszkowicz a "Mafia-Mate", Moszkowitz, Holleeders laywer, sued Mr. Kelder for slander. Surprisingly Moszkowicz lost the case. That very same day Meester Moszkowitz withdrew himself from defending Holleeder, due to being "intimidated by criminal interests". Supposedly these are criminal interests hostile to Mr. Willem Holleeder.

Holleeder now has a new laywer, but he is not of the caliber of his consiglieri.

Cases such as these take place in a super protected courthouse ("Dutch") in Amsterdam-West which is used for high profile cases against violent criminals and Jihadists such as the "Hofstad" terror cell. Last night at 03:00 in another bizarre twist the "Bunker", was hit by a antitank rocket.

Anti-tank rocket

The attack is remniscent of the attack early November 2006 on the premises of the presses of PCM, a mayor news media group, with an antitank rocket. Also the building of QuoteNet Media of Mr. Kelder was fired upon using an automatic rifle or submachine gun, in relation to the Holleeder, two years ago.

In response to the latest attack the case was moved to another location today, the Courthouse on the Parnassusweg in Amsterdam - South.

It is difficult to put all these events together in a way that makes sense. On the whole it shows that there are elements in Dutch society who are using more and more violent in order to influence events. Whether the attack was used by friends of Holleeder to intimidate the judges or the prosecution or by his enemies in order to put a bad light on Holleeder is unclear. That the criminal underworld, of whom Holleeder is a representative has become very powerful as a result of the drug trade and other criminal enterprises is certain. The underworld got fat in a time after the 60ies when the authorities saw no use in persecuting crime as a result of their Liberal / Leftist worldview, which seeks to diminish culpability and responsibility of criminals. It may now be to late to turn back the tide as the underworld has become too powerfull. They certyainly have access to corrupt police personel to brief them on whatever is going on in the police and judiciary.

Finally it is clear that the criminal underword and the legal world of investors and legal representatives have become intertwined. Public knowledge of this co-operation is undermining the authority of the institutions of Dutch society.

The "Bunker" Courthouse in Amsterdam - West was actually evacuated, because a unexploded second antitank rocket round was found in the room destroyed by the first rocket.

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