'Holleeder link' in Amsterdam gun murder

20th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — A man was gunned down in his wife's café in Amsterdam West on Thursday morning in what appears to be the latest gangland killing in the Dutch capital.

20 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — A man was gunned down in his wife's café in Amsterdam West on Thursday morning in what appears to be the latest gangland killing in the Dutch capital.

First reports suggested the shooting may have been a robbery gone wrong, as 'De Hallen' café was the scene of a violent robbery on 11 April.

Three men in their 20s were seen leaving the scene after the shooting on the corner of Jan van Galenstraat and Willem de Zwijgerlaan at approximately 8.40am. Eyewitnesses suggested the murder weapon was thrown into a nearby canal.

Local television station AT5 reported later that it appeared the killing was related to Amsterdam's criminal underworld. Other media outlets followed suit.

The Amsterdam station, which is usually well-informed about such matters, named the victim as Anthonie van der Bijl, 50, the husband of the owner. Van der Bijl was arrested in a home in the Zwanenburg district of Amsterdam on 28 March as part of an investigation into a drugs gang. 

AT5 said rumours have begun to circulate that he made an incriminating statement while in custody against convicted Heineken kidnapper and alleged crime boss Willem Holleeder. Magazine 'Vrij Nederland' reported on its website on Thursday that the victim had declined to make a statement because he was "afraid" of Holleeder.

Van der Bijl allegedly also had business dealings with former armed robber and property dealer Kees Houtman. Houtman - known as Kees Koffie - was shot dead in Amsterdam on 2 November 2005. On the same day, top Amsterdam criminal John Meiremet was gunned down in Thailand.

The police would only say they are still viewing the murder of Van der Bijl on Thursday as a robbery gone wrong. Van der Bijl was released from custody on the day of the robbery.

Holleeder has been in custody since January on suspicion of extorting money from business people, including his former associate and millionaire property tycoon Willem Endstra.

Known as 'Willem de Zwijger' (William the Silent) for refusing to answer police questions about allegations he was the banker for the Amsterdam underworld, Endstra was shot dead on 17 May 2004. Willem de Zwijger is one of the names William of Orange was known by.

Investigators found diary entries in which Endstra suggested Holleeder was extorting money from him. Media reports suggested at the time that the police were pressuring Endstra shortly before he was killed to make a statement against Holleeder.

Police ruled out a link between Thursday's murder and two other shooting incidents in Amsterdam West in recent days. But this is the second suspected gangland killing on the corner of the Jan van Galenstraat and Willem de Zwijgerslaan.

Drug dealer Mounir Barsoum was shot dead on the corner on 8 July 2004.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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