Feared Thug Burns Ex Partner Alive While Drinking Beer

Story By: Koen Berghuis, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

A notorious gangster has told cops that he doused his ex-business partner in petrol before setting him on fire while casually sipping on a beer.

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Picture Credits: CEN

The suspect was named locally as Janie Hoekstra, a feared mobster who was the subject of a book, ‘Jongen van de Straat’ (Boy of the Street), written by Danique Pals in 2015.

He has reportedly turned himself in for the murder of his ex-business partner Ger van Zundert, 49, in Breda.

Before he died a gruesome death in hospital, Mr van Zundert managed to tell the cops he had been tied up, doused in petrol and set on fire, naming his ex-business partner as the perpetrator.

Police have declined to confirm or deny Janie Hoekstra is the man they have arrested in connection with the murder of Mr van Zundert who was his partner in a car spares business.

Police spokesman Willem-Jan Uytdehage said: “We can only say that the victim and the arrested man were acquaintances.”

Neighbours however pointed to Hoekstra, a well-known criminal figure in Breda, as the perpetrator and painted a gruesome picture of the murder.

One, who declined to be named, said: “Two unknown men showed up as customers. The victim had to search for a spare part behind the computer.

“There he was tied up by the two. They then left the garage box after which the perpetrator came in. He first beat up the victim and afterwards doused him in petrol.

“He then set the victim on fire while he casually drank a beer while watching the victim burn.”

Mr van Zundert was taken to a hospital with severe burns, and died a day later from his injuries.

Police are investigating the allegations that two other men were involved in the attack but have so far failed to identify them.

Another neighbour who found Mr van Zundert on fire and who helped put him under a shower said: “Ger told them [the police] under the shower who did this. Everyone here thinks they know who it is. That fight has been going on for so long.”

The two men ran a car parts firm together, named A&R Holding after one child of each of the partners. But they reportedly fell out after Hoekstra wanted to sell the business but Mr van Zundert did not.

Ms Pals, who described Hoekstra as a “friendly man who always tried to look neat and correct”, said she was shocked by the latest allegations against him.

She said: “To tie someone up and set them on fire, you could’t make that up? How horrible for someone to meet his end like that! If Janie is indeed responsible for this, I’m shocked. This I never thought he could do. Never.”

Police have named the man they have arrested only as Janie H., 51, but local media in the city of Breda, in the southern Dutch province of Noord Brabant, say he is 51-year-old Janie Hoekstra.

In 2015, Heokstra searched online to find a journalism student to write his life story as he was illiterate.

Hoekstra, who has a long criminal record, has served four years in prison and was once shot himself. In 2017, he caused panic in the neighbourhood by treatening to blow himself up with a hand grenade and heavy-duty fireworks.

The explosives could have reportedly killed anybody within a radius of 25 metres (82 ft) but Hoekstra eventually decided to call the cops and turn himself in instead.

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Koen Berghuis

Editor of DACHS / Benelux desk for Central European News, roving correspondent with a penchant for travel, culture, geopolitics, history and the in-depth story behind the headlines.

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