Endstra spoke to police before murder
18 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Secret statements multimillionaire property tycoon Willem Endstra made to police led to his murder in broad daylight in Amsterdam on Monday, it has been suggested.
Endstra had allegedly told police that attempts were being made to blackmail him and top criminal figures had threatened his life, but to name the people would be to “sign my own death warrant”, newspaper De Telegraaf has reported.
Ironically, Endstra had been dubbed Willem de Zwijger, or Willem the Silent, for staying quiet and not implicating himself during several police investigations over the years into his business dealings.
But Endstra made a rare public appearance on RTL 5 television programme Business Class on Sunday to deny persistent allegations he was “the banker to the underworld”.
At the end of last week, Amsterdam Court indicated it was “highly unlikely” he would be convicted in a money laundering case against him.
The police have been trying to unmask him as one of the main figures involved in laundering criminal money for years, but the authorities have never produced solid evidence against him.
His run of good luck ended shortly after midday on Monday when he was struck by two bullets, one to the head, near his Apollolaan office in Amsterdam.
A second man, named in the media as David Denneboom — the son of an Amsterdam businessman — was hit in the leg when two assailants fired five shots at them.
Denneboom was arrested by police in hospital on suspicion of involvement in Endstra’s murder. But after questioning, he is no longer considered a suspect, a police spokesperson told news agency ANP.
De Telegraaf said it was almost certain Endstra’s statements to police led to his death. His murder was also connected to the string of 11 underworld killings in the past 12 months, the paper said.
The paper also said Endstra had fallen foul of top criminals when he failed to repay money he had laundered for them.
Endstra always angrily denied any suggestions be was linked to Dutch criminals. But the murder of the man — said by Quote magazine to be worth tens of millions of euros and the 93th richest man in the Netherlands — comes as no surprise.
He tried unsuccessfully to stop Quote printing photographs of him two years ago as he said it put his life in danger. The photos were part of a feature about Endstra’s alleged criminal activities.
A court initially sided with Endstra, but reversed its injunction against Quote within 24 hours when the magazine produced a photo of Endstra sitting on a park bench talking with Willem Holleeder — one of the men jailed for kidnapping beer magnate Freddie Heineken.
Endstra was apparently named as the next probable victim following the shooting and killing of criminal kingpin Cor van Hout at the start of last year.
Van Hout — thought to have been involved in drug dealing and running brothels in recent years — was best known for masterminding the Heineken kidnapping in 1983.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + Willem Endstra + Dutch underworld