Landlords arrested

The Groningen landlords Ali K. (48) and Bekir K. (47) were arrested last Friday. The brothers are suspected of money laundering and fraud.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Alain Reniers

Bekir will remain incarcerated for at least two more weeks. His older brother Ali will be released on Thursday, but remains a suspect, Dagblad van het Noorden reports. The two rent out rooms and apartments to students under the name Kaan Vastgoed.

The duo owns around 27 buildings in the Groningen city centre, according to an investigation by Sikkom. Among others, they own houses at the Paterswoldseweg, Gelkingestraat, Peperstraat and Nieuwe Boteringestraat. Together, they allegedly scammed subcontractors for building projects.

Research

The Justice Department, Tax Authorities and the Municipality of Groningen have been looking into the brothers for some time now. In 2003, the police raided the Kaan Groep’s offices due to advertising fraud. Two years later, as reported by Dagblad van het Noorden, Turkish police and Dutch customs followed a transport of mattresses with Kaan Holding as its final destination. The mattresses supposedly contained hard drugs. Before customs could inspect the mattresses, they were set on fire on the Kaan Groep’s grounds.

In July of last year, it turned out that the property owners were key figures in a large investigation into bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement which scrutinised cash flows from the Netherlands to Turkey, where the brothers are from.

Possession of weapons

Bekir K., responsible for renting out student rooms, was charged with possession of weapons in July 2016. In addition to K., three men were sentenced for possession of a semi-automatic firearm, knuckledusters and pepper spray. Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the three issued threats and intimidated subcontractors who complained on behalf of the brothers.

The Justice Department suspects that the K. brothers diverted 400,000 euros owed to the duped subcontractors to Turkey.

Empire

Apart from the student buildings, the brothers also own a financial consultancy firm, employment agency, and Navking, a navigation system for the Turkish market. Ali and Bekir K. started their empire with Shawarma diners and gyms. In an interview with Sprout from 2012, Ali K. stated that he expected that his company’s turnover would double to 20 million euros that year.

The K. brothers and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte in Istanbul. The prime minister visited Turkey in 2012 as part of a trade envoy. Representatives of eighty Dutch companies accompanied him on that trip. (Photo: Twitter/Ali K.)

Photo at top of page: Bekir K. with his Ferrari. (Facebook/Bekir K.)

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