Gangster’s Daughter Kidnapped in Amsterdam

Arrest in The Hague. Photo: Stephen Peters

On Saturday night  9 July 2011, just before midnight, Alida van Dam (57), daughter of drugs dealer and gangster Gijs van Dam Sr., was kidnapped from her home in the Rijswijkstraat in Amsterdam-West. She was taken to a place outside Amsterdam, where she was set free in the street by the police on Sunday (early) morning 10 July, 2011.  One person (31) was arrested there. Two other kidnappers, 38 and 40, of Turkish and Moroccan origin, were arrested in 136 Van Dyckstraat, The Hague, and according to the police a fourth kidnapper shot himself dead. The police found two firearms on the premises. During and after she was kidnapped, which was actually and “accidently” witnessed by a surveillance team of the police, the police were also able to track down Alida van Dam’s mobile phone, which indicates that Alida and her son were targeted by the police. During the kidnapping a special police team talked to the kidnappers several times. The police are further investigating, expecting to find evidence that more people were involved in the kidnapping of Alida van Dam. Despite her criminal father, brother and son, Alida van Dam herself hasn’t got a criminal record.

The Amsterdam Police are not happy with the situation. This last weekend 60 police officers have worked their butts off to solve a problem between criminals. Maybe they wouldn’t have tried so hard if Alida van Dam would have had a significant criminal record.

42 Oosteinderweg, Aalsmeer

The motive of the kidnapping is not clear yet, but the grapevine says that Alida’s son, Mike Offenberg, owes some Turkish criminals a lot of money and failed to pay them back. In 2004 he invested €1.5m in a villa in Aalsmeer, “to live there with a large family”. However, one year later Offenberg was still not able to pay for the villa, and the regular banks refused to finance the project. So Mike Offenberg tried to find alternative sources. René van den Berg, a financial advisor who was sentenced for money laundring and fraude in 2005 and was released from prison in 2008, agreed to invest almost €800,000.00 in the villa through his Swiss company; former secret service agent Paul Herrie (in 2009 convicted to 2 years in prison for leaking state secrets) was able to cough up €180,000.00, and Chinese businessman Andy Chen came up with €475,000.00. (In 2004 Andy Chen, who also uses an Austrian and a Thai passport, lent more than half a million euros to Mike Offenberg’s uncle Gijs van Dam Jr.) Through Paul Herrie’s bank account in Luxemburg €475,000.00 was transferred to Andy Chen, who used this U-turn construction to “invest” the same amount in the Aalsmeer villa. Mike Offenberg’s financial advisor Edwin Denekamp (1957) urged him to register the villa in the name of one of his French operations, Yucatan France SAS. When Offenberg was interviewed in 2006, he told the police, “I have no idea who benefits from Yucatan France SAS. I’m just an employee, and in that capacity I negociated with the investors. That’s how I earn my money, about €120,000.00 a year.”

How does a money laundring scheme like this work? It’s easy.  The price of real estate is manipulated; the seller will agree to a contract that under-represents the value of the property, and will receive criminal proceeds to make up the difference. Or real estate is purchased with illegal proceeds, then sold. The proceeds from the sale appear to outsiders to be legitimate income. Or an individual will walk in to a casino or a horse race track with cash and buy chips, play for a while and then cash in his chips, for which he will be issued a cheque. The money launderer will then be able to deposit the cheque into his bank account, and claim it as gambling winnings. Mike Offenberg met René van den Berg at the horse race track in Duindigt, near The Hague. René van den Berg told the police, “These people don’t like to be messed about.” On 4 October 2005 Mike Offenberg, Andy Chen and Edwin Denekamp had a meeting in Denekamp’s office in Amsterdam. Offenberg became very aggressive and told Chen that he wanted €200,00.00 immediately, “or I’ll beat the shit out of you”. The same day Andy Chen signed a sideletter, saying, “All the money in my possession, or in the possession of one of my companies, coming from, or via Mike Offenberg, will always be in ultimate control of Mike Offenberg, no matter in which bank account the money has been deposited”.  Mike Offenberg controls Ever East Company Ltd., which is managed by Andy Chen. Mike Offenberg also controls Yucatan Immo SAS, the mother company of Shin Hua Corp BV (now Yucatan BV), the official owners of the Aalsmeer villa. (Dutch businessman Dirk Dobber, who operates in France and was, as a business associate of Edwin Denekamp, involved with Yucatan, but never accused of anything illegal, claims he had both Yucatan BV and Yucatan France dissolved, due to the bad name the villa affair gave the company.)

Mike Offenberg has been connected with drugs trafficking and money laundring. His father Rob Offenberg was a childhood buddy of Heineken kidnappers Willem Holleeder and Cor van Hout, but died in a car accident in Belgium, after which Mike became Van Hout’s and Holleeder’s protégé. In the Amsterdam Gangland Mike Offenberg has always been regarded a spoiled brat, a boaster, a first class prick, probably just because of the fact that he was Van Hout’s and Holleeder’s protégé and didn’t have the opportunity to grow up like a normal kid. It’s not good for a kid to know he’s untouchable. Normal kids in Amsterdam grow up as part of a Happy Meals Gang, where they get their arses kicked. Then they move on to become policemen, gangsters or accountants. Mike Offenberg doesn’t know what it’s like to get your arse kicked. That’s why he didn’t make it as a professional football-player. Every child needs to be guided, but what if you’re a teacher, a football coach or in this case even a mother, and the child is accompanied by two of the most dangerous gangsters in the land? You keep schtumm. (I’m sure his lawyers will use this in the defense of their client. So be it.)

In 2005 the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIE) received a tip that Offenberg was exploiting a successful cocaine trafficking line with top gangsters Dino Soerel and Willem Holleeder. Supposedly they were sharing the profits equally amongst the three of them. Offenberg himself couldn’t leave the merchandise alone, though. In 2002 he was taken to a hospital by an ambulance, because he O.D.’d on cocaine.

Mike Offenberg has an impressive criminal record, and he is known to be extremely violent. He was convicted for armed robbery, possession of firearms, extortion, fraude, etc. Recently he was connected to money laundring schemes, in which he used the services of financial genius Edwin Denekamp, who used to work for Willem Endstra and Jan-Dirk Paarlberg. Endstra was liquidated on 17 May 2004, Paarlberg was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison on 8 June 2010, for money laundring and fraude.

Some background information

After Martin Erkamps, Frans Meijer, Cor Van Hout, Willem Holleeder and Jan Boellaard kidnapped beer tycoon Freddie Heineken and his driver Ab Doderer in November 1983, Boellaard and Erkamps were arrested; Meijer, Van Hout and Holleeder escaped and were caught much later. Of the 35 million guilders ransom money, 8 million were never found.

Willem Holleeder (l) and Cor van Hout (r)

Cor van Hout and Willem Holleeder were hiding in France and in 1984 their childhood buddy Robbie Offenberg was on his way to pay them a visit. However, in Belgium he died in a car accident.  After that Holleeder and Van Hout took care of Robbie’s son Mike, and they encouraged him to become a professional football player. Mike Offenberg’s mother is Alida van Dam, daughter of drug dealer and gangster Gijs van Dam Sr.

Gijs van Dam Sr.

Gijs van Dam Sr. had become a big fish in the Amsterdam gangland and was involved in large scale international cannabis trafficking. He spent prison time in Belgium and was arrested in France in 1980, but released because they couldn’t prove his guilt. Van Dam Sr., is a wealthy man and was involved with the people who kidnapped Freddy Heineken. He is also believed to have done business with crime boss Sam Klepper, who would be shot and killed in October 2000 in Amsterdam.

Gijs van Dam Jr.

On May 28, 2004, drug dealer and gangster Gijs van Dam Jr., 37, was shot in the head while he sat in a car in the driveway of his home. He died soon after arriving at the VU hospital in Amsterdam. Van Dam’s five-year-old son was sitting next to him at the time of the shooting. Two gunmen escaped the scene by car and police found the burning vehicle abandoned not far from the scene of the shooting. The suspects reportedly transferred to a second car  and a helicopter was called in to assist the search. However, the police failed to track the shooters down. Van Dam Jr. was the son of well known Amsterdam criminal Gijs van Dam Sr., who was deeply involved in the import of cannabis in the 1970s and 80s, and was in business with crime boss Sam Klepper. Van Dam Sr. was sentenced to 20 years jail in France at the start of the 1980s but was released after serving just a couple of years. Van Dam Jr. had previously survived an attempt on his life in December 2002 when he was shot by two men on a motorbike in front of his former home in Amsterdam-Buitenveldert. He had been in a wheelchair ever since. He was also kidnapped at a young age in October 1985 and the kidnappers demanded NLG 8 million in cash as ransom. The final resting place of Van Dam Jr. is close to the grave of criminal Cor van Hout, who was shot and killed in Amstelveen in January 2003. Van Hout is best known for his role in the kidnapping of beer magnate Freddie Heineken in 1983.  Gijs van Dam Jr. and Willem Holleeder were not the best of friends after Van Dam married Holleeder’s ex-wife.

With the arrest of professional football player Donny Huysen in 2006, in connection with cocaine trafficking, another former Ajax colleague, Mike Offenberg, came into the picture. Mike was the son of Rob Offenberg, a childhood buddy of Heineken kidnappers Willem Holleeder and Cor van Hout, and Alida van Dam, daughter of drugs dealer and gangster Gijs van Dam Sr. Alida is the half-sister of Gijs van Dam Jr., who was liquidated in May 2004. Alida van Dam’s home in the Rijswijkstraat in Amsterdam was raided by the police in 2006, in connection with the drugs trafficking. Donny was  sentenced to five years in prison. After their release from prison, Holleeder and Van Hout used to watch their protégé Mike Offenberg and his mate Donny Huysen play, but they made a fool out of themselves in the stadium, throwing with money, and embarrassed the young professional football players, who shortly afterwards decided to give up football and follow the footsteps of Mike’s grandfather Gijs van Dam Sr.

Click here to go to the Chronoly of the Amsterdam Gangland, by Jack Vanderwyk

About Jack Vanderwyk

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