The same country to which some Spanish companies go for its financial security and for the great facilities it offers for any type of stock market operations and goings-on related to money, the same country whose governments usually demand, with great harshness, economic seriousness from its European partners, that same country has not been able to offer physical security to its deputy prime minister and person in charge of Finance, who announced this summer her resignation for no longer being able to withstand the very credible death threats to which she is subjected by far-right groups ( she is married to a Palestinian) and a very powerful local drug trafficking mafia. It is the same country that has half of its deputies under protection, equally threatened, and the same one that has forced its crown princess to leave her student apartment and practically not leave the palace, because it is not sure of guaranteeing her safety against to the powerful organized crime network.
What is happening in Holland is amazing. Rafael del Pino takes his company, Ferrovial, to Amsterdam, a great mecca for companies from all over the world, but he would hardly be as safe as his money. In the Netherlands, a plan to kidnap Vincent Van Quickenborne, Minister of Justice of Belgium, a neighboring country, was detected last fall, and on July 15, 2021, one of its most famous investigative journalists, Peter R. de, was shot in the street. Vries, author of great reports on the world of organized crime in his country. The two hitmen who murdered him were arrested, but, apparently, they have not implicated his bosses.
Virtually all international organizations in charge of monitoring crime networks in the world assure that one of the most powerful is the one that has been established in the Netherlands, with branches in Belgium. Perhaps because Holland has one of the busiest ports in the world, Rotterdam (between that port and the Belgian port of Antwerp it is known that 80% of the cocaine consumed in Europe arrives), and perhaps also because it has a network of formidable financial advisors, willing to provide coverage for the billions of euros managed by the powerful local mafia.
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A work published by Professors Roks, Kruisbergen and Kleemans explains the walls of silence that have surrounded and aided organized crime in the Netherlands, “a secret kept by accomplices, victims and people who are aware of its activities.” “Based on a theoretical and empirical exploration (…) of the Dutch Organized Crime Monitor,” they write, “we illustrate how organized crime offenders in the Netherlands depend on the silence and secrecy of accomplices, victims, bystanders and others who are involved. aware of their activities.” To protect these criminal activities, these networks resort to various strategies that include “corruption, violence, intimidation, media manipulation and the use of experts such as notaries, lawyers and accountants.”
Roks and his colleagues affirm that the continuity and longevity of organized crime in the Netherlands is not the result of isolation but rather “the product of relational and structural embeddedness.” Criminals deliberately conceal their criminal activities by using the opportunities provided by their social environment, “including services provided by professional intermediaries, such as lawyers or financial advisors and others, in a regular and lawful social environment.”
Another study signed by Jo-Ann Kramer and Kleemans himself highlights the importance of the help offered by “financial facilitators”, generally linked to extensive money laundering networks. “Two types of professional money laundering networks can be distinguished, those that operate in the real estate sector and those that are mainly dedicated to so-called clandestine banking.”
The Netherlands has been considered the paradise of financial engineering for many years. On many occasions it has been accused of acting as a tax haven within the European Union. In the midst of the pandemic, it was learned, for example, that Dutch tax practices were costing the EU’s total tax revenue 10 billion euros (about 1 billion euros less for Spain, in particular). But the money that Holland has always cried out for has also come with fear, secrecy and violence.
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