More entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are facing threats and blackmail, reports Het Misdaadbureau of the Omroep WNL program, based on figures from the Confidential Extortion Hotline. The hotline paid particular attention to shady lenders targeting small and medium-sized family-owned businesses. “Watch out for overly lucrative offers and know who you’re dealing with,” Axel Van Pel, director of the classified information extortion hotline, told the show.
Last year, the hotline received 188 calls from entrepreneurs. That’s 55 more for him than the previous year and the highest number since we started tracking this number in 2019. The hotline called police on his 33, compared to his 24 in 2021. According to the radio program, if the entrepreneur doesn’t pay, they will harm the entrepreneur’s family and employees, or plant explosives in the business.
Criminals appear to be taking advantage of this tough time to target entrepreneurs who are struggling financially due to soaring energy and raw material prices. They lend money to entrepreneurs and then extort. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to risky lenders, according to the hotline.
“Entrepreneurs are more vulnerable to working with the wrong type that makes them an attractive offer. I think, but it’s not,” said Van Pel. “Criminals mostly try to get their foot in family-run companies in the small business sector. For those entrepreneurs, the company is their life. I have.”
https://nltimes.nl/2023/03/17/dutch-entrepreneurs-facing-threats-extortion More Dutch entrepreneurs face threats and coercion