Suspect in extortion case fruit importer De Groot partially acquitted

One of the four suspects in the criminal case involving fruit importer De Groot in Hedel has been acquitted of attempted extortion. However, this Ali I. (33) was imposed four months in prison for attempted healing.

The man from Hilversum went to the company in Hedel to raise money, but according to the court, it was not proven that he knew it was money by extortion. That would not be deduced from WhatsApp conversations between the man and his client.

400 kilos of cocaine

The management of fruit importer De Groot Fresh Group in Hedel received threatening texts last year, shortly after the discovery of 400 kilos of cocaine in a shipment of bananas from South America. The company had to pay a million euros or large amounts of money in bitcoins to compensate the smugglers. If it didnt happen, random employees of the company would be liquidated.

Since then

, employees, ex-employees, and family in the family business have been confronted with harassment several times. Among other things, there was a hand grenade on the sidewalk with a son of a director, two residences of employees were shot at and recently the house of two former employees burned to the ground. The residents were injured.

Four suspects

Four people were on trial for the extortion. A woman from Hilversum was also in the car to Hedel and a man from Pijnacker would have arranged a bitcoin address for transferring money. The husband and wife were both acquitted for lack of evidence.

The case against the fourth suspect, a 36-year-old man from Bussum who is seen as the brains behind the extortion, is resumed at another time, reports Omroep Gelderland. The lawsuits for the threats and arson have yet to begin.