‘Dutch broker in Dubai invested drug money mafia boss’

‘Dutch broker in Dubai invested drug money mafia boss’
‘Dutch broker in Dubai invested drug money mafia boss’

It concerns real estate agent Jeroen van der G. (41). For years he has bathed in the luxury of Dubai, where he has come to ‘earn hard money’. He drives up to appointments in a Porsche Cayenne or in a fat Mercedes. He takes clients in a helicopter or on a superyacht to discover the latest construction projects of the booming Arabian city.

7 star hotel

Not a bad life for a young man who comes to Dubai in 2002 with ‘less than 2000 euros’ to work as a waiter in the 7-star hotel Burj al Arab. But, as the blonde Dutchman says in an interview: “You make good contacts in expensive hotels.” Within a year, hotel guests ask him to manage a foreign investment company.

When Van der G. then gets into real estate, things go fast: with his company AA Properties he sells houses and apartments that sometimes go upside down a few times. “Real returns of 900% have been achieved in three years,” he says in De Telegraaf. “Buyers bought on paper and paid 10 percent. By the time the first construction installment was due, the house had been resold a few times.”

After five years, the former hotel clerk has earned so much that he can buy his own villa on the artificial palm islands off the coast: a 465 square meter property with two wings, marble floors, five bathrooms and a swimming pool. From the garage he can walk with his surfboard to his 42 meter private beach. “Our house is our most beautiful billboard,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws in 2008. “We live in our showroom.”

The interviews are clearly intended to lure customers. With his Dutch business partners Frank and Marco de Baat, who operate from Rotterdam, Van der G. wants to entice as many Dutch and Belgians as possible to invest in the Arab city where residential towers and luxury villas are springing up like mushrooms.

Is the wealth of the Dutch broker only due to the sky-high returns in Dubai? Investigation services think not, according to research by RTL News and Follow the Money. He is accused in criminal files of ties to the Italian mafia and of investing criminal assets.

Gangster wedding

In August 2018, the Dutch police received a report from the American investigation service DEA. The Americans write that major cocaine traders have joined forces in Dubai. It concerns ‘a large number of persons of different origins who invest in large quantities of cocaine, who smuggle and sell it’. The DEA mentions, among others, the then still fugitive Ridouan Taghi and the Italian Raffaele Imperiale.

According to the investigation service, the two were spotted in 2017 at the wedding of an Irish top criminal in the Burj al Arab hotel. This is crucial information for the Dutch police, because the hunt for the Netherlands’ most wanted criminal Ridouan Taghi is still in full swing. In that context, the name of another Dutchman who appoints the DEA is also interesting: “A person who is also a member of this group and who is involved in investments in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is Jeroen Jaap van der G..”

Several people who know Van der G. from Dubai confirm that the Dutch real estate man was close to Raffaele Imperiale. “I’ve been to the office of AA Properties several times,” says a business associate who wishes to remain anonymous. “There was a model of The World, an island group that has not been completed for years. And there was a space in that office for an Italian, who, strangely enough, was never there. Later I heard from Jeroen who it was about: Raffaele Imperiale .”

Drugs, weapons and stolen Van Goghs

Raffaele Imperiale lives in Amsterdam in the nineties, where he owns coffee shop Rockland. Together with drug trafficker Rick van de Bunt, he also trades ecstasy, cocaine and weapons. The Italian mainly supplies the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra.

At the beginning of this century he moved from the Netherlands to Spain, where Van de Bunt was shot dead in 2008. Imperiale then moves to Dubai, where he takes up residence in the Burj Al Arab hotel. In 2016, he became world news when two Van Goghs stolen from the Van Gogh Museum turned up in his hiding place near Naples.

Imperiale, who is regarded as one of the world’s largest drug criminals, runs a drug ring from Dubai. Italy will get Dubai to arrest and extradite him in 2021. In 2022 it will be announced that the Italian has become a key witness of justice. Many countries, including the Netherlands, want to hear him: Imperiale can make statements about the top of the international drug trade.

Two Italian criminal files also establish a link between the mafia-related drug trafficker and Jeroen van der G. Imperiale is a shareholder in a company called AA Investments & Development, according to prosecutors. That company not only resembles Van der G.’s real estate company AA Properties in terms of name, but shares the same office on the 34th floor of the Concord Tower, according to a corporate video from 2016. Both company names are displayed in shiny letters on the counter.

Imperiale turns out to be a chess player: justice in Italy suspects the top criminal of setting up an entire money laundering carousel. For example, Imperiale owns a mailbox company on the British Isle of Man, which is known as a tax haven, he has a company in Spain and he is a co-shareholder of AA Investments & Development in Dubai. According to his criminal file, a lot of money has been shuffled between all those companies.

‘Drug traffickers and money launderers’

According to the DEA, broker and colleague Jeroen van der G. therefore plays a role in investing Imperiales coke money. Those rumors have been doing the rounds in Dubai for some time now. This is how an angry customer responded on the internet in 2019: “Stay as far away from him as you can. Jeroen van der G. stole money from me during a real estate transaction. I found out that he has drug traffickers and money launderers in his clientele. His slick and friendly appearance is misleading.”

People who knew the Dutchman from Dubai also confirm that he did business with criminals. “Jeroen van der G. was known to accept large sums of cash,” says a former acquaintance who wishes to remain anonymous. “For Moroccan criminals from the Netherlands, for example. He did not hide his ties with Imperiale. He even seemed to be proud of it.”


That the broker purchased real estate for criminals is evident from properties in Dubai in the name of Timia S., which were confiscated by the judiciary in 2022. Timia S. is the widow of Rick van de Bunt, a drug trafficker shot dead in Madrid in 2008 and, coincidentally or not, the former business partner of Raffaele Imperiale. Timia S. appears to have purchased several properties in Dubai through Jeroen van der G. over the years. Even after 2017, she still engaged him in connection with two real estate transactions.

Money laundering paradise Dubai

Dubai is known as a haven and money laundering haven for criminals. Reason for the Financial Act Taskforce (FATF) last year to place the Arab oil state on the gray list of countries that do not take enough action against financial crimeas well as Yemen, Jordan and Syria.

Conducting financial investigations in Dubai was virtually impossible for the Dutch police for years. Real estate and bank details are not public, and cooperation with the Dubai Police was also difficult. The arrest and extradition of Ridouan Taghi was an exception. In August last year, the Netherlands concluded two treaties with Dubai that should simplify the extradition of suspects and the exchange of data.

The fact that criminals have invested massively in real estate in Dubai is apparent from a major leak of cadastral data from the oil state. Research showed that not only top criminals, but also people on sanction lists own buildings there.

The Public Prosecution Service states that all of Timia S.’s assets come from Van de Bunt’s drug trade and will start a major criminal case against her in 2019 for money laundering. By making a deal with the Public Prosecution Service, S. gets away with a suspended prison sentence three years later. However, she must have her money and property declared forfeit.


Both his former business partners and acquaintances say they have heard rumors that Van der G. has teamed up with criminals. According to them, that was not yet the case in his first years as a real estate agent. A former employee of AA Properties says: “In the early years there seemed nothing wrong with the business he did. It was buying and selling houses. Jeroen was just in the right place at the right time. Dubai was booming.”

But over the years, dark clouds gather over his company AA Properties. In 2008 and 2009 Dubai ends up in a financial crisis, as a result of which almost no house is sold anymore. In 2010 Van der G. gets into a serious conflict with his business partners Frank and Marco de Baat. They accuse him of pushing back millions of euros. He would have bought his capital villa on the palm with money from the company, they say.


“We left a big feather and did not part well,” says Frank de Baat afterwards. “There is only one theme for Jeroen, and that is money. My brother has filed a lawsuit against him in Dubai, but that has come to nothing. I have decided to start again.”

The question remains why the broker would have teamed up with top criminals. Perhaps the Dubai crisis drove him into their arms? “I don’t believe it,” says a former business associate, who blames ordinary greed. “Some people never have enough. They have 10 million, but feel poor. Sooner or later things will go wrong.”

Van der G. says he still resides in Dubai, but has not been a real estate agent for several years. He had his company AA Properties deregistered around 2019. Various police sources hint that the former successful broker is in their picture in connection with money laundering. “Jeroen van der G. has our interest.”

“I don’t see from the outside whether a customer is a criminal”

Jeroen van der G. says in an extensive response that he has never worked with ‘any group whatsoever’. He says he refers any suggestion about this to ‘the realm of fables’. Van der G. does not want to answer questions about specific customers. “I have never invested together with clients. As a broker I have always played a mediating role between buyer and seller. Over the years I have served hundreds of clients who wanted to invest in Dubai real estate. My involvement was limited to supply and demand.”

In addition, Van der G. says that he often did business with companies, or that lawyers acted on behalf of clients, so it was not always clear to him who the purchasing party was. You don’t have to, he says. “As a broker, it is not up to me to judge how and where my clients have earned their money. Whether a client is criminal is not something I can tell from the outside. It is up to a seller or the bank receiving funds to determine whether they are a criminal or not. agreement or not.”

Van der G. denies having held an office on the 34th floor of the Concord Tower in Dubai, which was previously stated on the website of AA Properties. He also denies having worked on the same floor as Raffaele Imperiale’s AA Investments & Development. “I kept an office on the 20th floor.”

Timia S. says through her lawyer that she does not want to respond. “She has distanced herself from her past.”


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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Dutch broker Dubai invested drug money mafia boss