10 explosions, 16 hand grenades: Criminals threaten Dutch businesses

Police and explosive experts at a sisha lounge on Jan Evertsenstraat where a hand grenade was found tied to the door of a sisha lounge, 1 Feb 2019
Police and explosive experts at a sisha lounge on Jan Evertsenstraat where a hand grenade was found tied to the door of a sisha lounge, 1 Feb 2019. (Photo: @Politie_Adam / Twitter)

Since the beginning of 2017 there's been 16 incidents involving a hand grenade at a Dutch business, and in ten of these incidents the hand grenade exploded, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said in response to parliamentary questions, RTL Nieuws reports.

D66 parliamentarian Maarten Groothuizen wanted to know how many times criminals used hand grenades to threaten or pressure business owners in the Netherlands. He also asked how often a municipality closed a business after such an incident.

Grapperhaus could not answer that last question, because it is not something that is registered. He also could not say whether there is a trend in the use of hand grenades as a threat. 

According to Groothuizen, the number of incidents with hand grenades in Amsterdam decreased after the municipality decided not to automatically close a business after an explosive was found there. He called the closure particularly harsh for the entrepreneurs, who are already victims of the threat. 

In August there were five incidents involving grenades in the Amsterdam area. A grenade exploded in apartment building Buekehnorst in Diemen on August 31st. An explosive was found on Voetboogstraat on August 16th. A day earlier a grenade exploded in front of the Marovaan restaurant on Johan Huizingalaan. And the day before that explosives were found on Jan Evertsenstraat and again Johan Huizingalaan. A grenade also exploded in front of a home on Nieuwenhuysenstraat in the Amsterdam district of Slotermeer on July 25th. 

Earlier in the year there were also incidents with grenades at coffeeshops in Delft, a nightclub in Rotterdam, and a sisha lounge and cocktail bar in Amsterdam. Last year grenades were found at club In the City on Leidseplein and Club ABE on Amstelstraat in Amsterdam, and at club Blu in Rotterdam.

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