Alleged Dutch hitman arrested in Spain

7th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — A man suspected of killing potential state witness Thomas van der Bijl has been arrested in Spain.

7 August 2006

AMSTERDAM — A man suspected of killing potential state witness Thomas van der Bijl has been arrested in Spain.

Dutch holidaymakers looked on in amazement as Spanish police detained the man, identified only as 37-year-old Fred R. from Leidschendam, at a campsite on the Costa Brava. The campsite near Torroella de Montgrí is very popular with Dutch tourists and R. was hiding out there for several weeks.

The Dutch authorities were looking for him for some time and issued an international alert for him. A request for extradition is being filed. Two others are also in custody on suspicion of involvement in the killing.

Newspaper 'De Telegraaf' said R. is a feared underworld figure in the Netherlands. He has been suspected of at least three other gangland killings and spent time in custody after a large arsenal of weapons was found in a house in Vinkeveen. He was renting the place from Dutch actress Katja Schuurman.

The newspaper said R. is an explosives and firearms expert and has strong links with a major cocaine dealer, who in turn is on good terms with Willem Holleeder.

Holleeder has been in custody for several months as part of an investigation into alleged extortion from leading figures in the property sector. Property tycoon Willem Endstra was shot dead in 2004 after talking to the police about Holleeder.

Van der Bijl was gunned down in his cafe in the west of Amsterdam on 20 April this year. He had also given information to the police about Holleeder, including how he recovered ransom money for him from a graveyard in Paris years ago. He refused to make a formal statement for fear of reprisals.

The money was part of the 35 million Guilder ransom paid for the release of beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983. Holleeder was part of the gang jailed for kidnapping Heineken.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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