Real estate boss ‘held’ in Endstra murder inquiries
16 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — One of the highest ranking Dutch real estate chiefs, Jan-Dirk P., was arrested in Amsterdam this week as a result of investigations into the murder of property tycoon Willem Endstra, it was reported Wednesday.
But P. — who is the chief executive of the Merwede Group, which controls a EUR 2.75 billion real estate portfolio — is not suspected of killing Endstra, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
Justice authorities reportedly suspect P. — who is among the top 60 wealthiest entrepreneurs in the Netherlands according to business magazine Quote — of illegal activities which came to light during investigations into various financial transactions which involved Endstra.
Police are investigating rumours that several Amsterdam business leaders have been blackmailed over many years by the Dutch crime world. They allegedly came into contact with the crime world via Endstra.
A report in Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool said justice officials refused to confirm P.’s arrest, but not deny it either.
But it is well known that P. did business with Endstra, having invested in the tycoon’s IJmuiden yacht harbour Seaport Marina. The Merwede Group also bought the Euromast in Rotterdam from Endstra.
Companies within the Merwede Group own 40 percent of real estate along the chic PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam and huge swathes of the Lijnbaan in Rotterdam.
Investigations into the alleged link between the real estate industry and the Dutch underworld also raised suspicions of the group’s PC Hooftstraat dealings several years ago.
P. was described as being involved in “dirty” affairs, but no hard evidence was uncovered.
Endstra was gunned down and killed near his office on the Apollolaan in Amsterdam on 17 May, just days after Amsterdam Court indicated it was “highly unlikely” he would be convicted of money laundering.
One of the richest property tycoons in the Netherlands, Endstra had continually denied he was the “banker of the Dutch underworld”. The investigation into his murder has not identified any suspects.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news