Prosecutor: 3 years in prison for motorcycle gang’s extortion racket
The Public Prosecutor demanded a 3 year prison sentence against a member of the Amsterdam chapter of motorcycle gang No Surrender on Wednesday. The suspect, 42-year-old Mike H., stands accused of extortion, instigation, arson, money laundering and possession of a cannabis plantation. H. was the owner of a collection agency that collected debts on behalf of clients in the real estate sector. According to the Prosecutor, he used his position in the motorcycle club to intimidate debtors by showing up at their houses in his No Surrender Jacket. The suspect sent debtors photos of their mailbox or car, presumably to indicate that he knows where they live. And he maintained favorable rates for himself - he kept 20 percent of the amount collected, and if the person does not pay, the debt was increased by 35 percent. According to the Public Prosecutor, H. extorted, or attempted to extort, six businessmen. One of them had an outstanding debt of 470 thousand euros. His threatening tone can clearly be heard on tapped telephone conversations. "The suspect worked in a refined manner in his extortion. He kept constant pressure on the victims and appropriated large amounts for himself. Extortion belongs to the category of crimes that constitute a serious breach of privacy, the victims often long suffer the emotional consequences.", the prosecutor said during her closing argument. "During the hearing the suspect demonstrated that he does not see his conduct as reprehensible and he tried to deny and minimize his actual share in this collection practice."