De Vlieger free again in extortion case

28th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — Released from remand custody after being questioned on allegations of fraud, extortion and threatening a café owner, former businessman Erik de Vlieger has announced he wants to enter politics — and become minister for justice.

28 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — Released from remand custody after being questioned on allegations of fraud, extortion and threatening a café owner, former businessman Erik de Vlieger has announced he wants to enter politics — and become minister for justice.

Due to negative publicity about his business dealings and ongoing judiciary investigations, De Vlieger announced earlier this month that he intended to sell his Imca Group interests and withdraw from the business world. De Vlieger is primarily involved in real estate, aviation and media.

But in an interview with newspaper De Telegraaf, De Vlieger, 45, said he is now considering his options, either to write a book, become a journalist or enter politics. "I think more on the latter: Justice Minister, that seems to be a nice job," he said.

One of the first things on his list would be to "do away with" crime stopper telephone lines and websites, and the general policy of encouraging members of the public to tip the police off about crimes other people commit. He would also scrap the new law requiring everyone above the age of 14 to carry identification.

His comments came after being released by police shortly after 6pm on Thursday. The public prosecutor said it sees no reason to extend his period in custody.

De Vlieger reported to police on Monday and was questioned about his involvement in an alleged extortion case. Police allege that De Vlieger, as well as murdered property tycoon Willem Endstra and top criminal Willem Holleeder, demanded repayments from a financially struggling café located on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam.

The 45-year-old family man invested money in a café, Raffle's, in 2001, but is accused of threatening the café owner to get a return on his investment. The café has since been taken over by entrepreneur Sjoerd Kooistra, who is suspected in the past of having deliberately run other cafés into the ground for financial gain.

De Vlieger has denied any wrongdoing and has also denied he was questioned by police in Amstelveen this week about alleged links with Endstra. Shot and killed in Amsterdam last May, Endstra has been described by some as "the banker of the underworld".

A decision had to be made on Thursday whether De Vlieger's detention should be extended. It wasn't extended and he was allowed to go free.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news


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