ANPfruit exporter De Groot in Hedel was threatened by drug criminals
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 09:24
According to investigative journalist Yelle Tieleman, the Public Prosecution Service will compensate more than a hundred victims in the extortion case at fruit import company De Groot in Hedel.
Tieleman delved into the Brabant extortion case and today published the book De Hedelse extortion case, which the AD had already seen. In the extortion case, police secured between 300 and 400 company employees. The case covers almost twenty violent incidents in the period between January 2020 and June 2021.
In 2019, the company was held liable for “the loss of their trade” by a group of criminals after the discovery of around 400 kilos of cocaine in a container of bananas. They demanded more than a million euros for the damage they claimed suffered. There was a threat to liquidate an employee if payment was not made. The company refused and called the police.
Bluff with employee list
The Public Prosecution Service blundered in the investigation by including the complete list of employees of the fruit importer in the file. The Public Prosecution Service asked the suspects’ lawyers to remove the list, but one suspect refused.
Dozens of incidents followed: houses of employees and former employees were set on fire, houses were shot at and a hand grenade was left at a home. The main suspect in the case was given a prison sentence of 19 years and 10 months last year.
According to Tieleman, a group of more than a hundred victims united in a foundation that requested compensation for, among other things, emotional suffering, but also for practical matters, such as the purchase of security systems. It is not known how much the Public Prosecution Service pays them.