Dutch "Shoe King" taken down in Croatian weapons bust
The large batch of weapons including machine guns, grenades and rocket launchers recently confiscated in Croatia was probably on its way to a Dutch motorcycle gang, suspects Belgian media. The smuggler of the weapons was a former Dutch "shoe king" Jan van der L. who used to run over forty Tango shoe stores.
The Croatian police found Kalashnikovs, six rocket launchers, pistols with silencers, heavy machine guns, hand grenades and boxes of ammunition and drugs from a van driven by the 64-year old Dutchman in the town of Kastela last week. The Brabant police does not confirm the destination of the guns in the interest of the investigation. Van der L. had over forty Tango shops in Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the
Czech Republic. The company was declared bankrupt in 2012, according to the bankruptcy register Faillissementsdossier.nl. He also owned Cafe Moda, a fashion retailer with locations across the country. It was also declared bankrupt in recent years. At the time of van der L.'s arrest, police raided four different Brabant addresses. The raids led to an arrest of 42-year old and 38-year old men from Den Bosch. The former is regarded as the main suspect in the arms shipment case.