Sister of ruthless crime boss risked her life to secretly record his boasts of gangland killings

The sister of a ruthless crime boss has told of the heart-stopping moment she hid a microphone in her bra to secretly record him boasting about his murders.

Revealing her ultimate betrayal, Astrid Holleeder hid the recording device in the only place she knew he wouldn’t look as she chatted to her brother Willem, the most feared criminal in Holland.

Knowing she would be killed instantly if he found out, Astrid said she turned on her own brother because it was the only way he could be brought to justice.

Hours of the incriminating tapes have now put the celebrity gangster – who carried out Holland’s crime of the century by kidnapping the boss of the Heineken beer empire in the 80s – on trial again and facing life in prison.

Astrid Holleeder, sister of ruthless crime boss Willem (pictured together as children) has told of the heart-stopping moment she hid a microphone in her bra to secretly record him boasting about his murders

Astrid Holleeder, sister of ruthless crime boss Willem (pictured together as children) has told of the heart-stopping moment she hid a microphone in her bra to secretly record him boasting about his murders

Astrid Holleeder, sister of ruthless crime boss Willem (pictured together as children) has told of the heart-stopping moment she hid a microphone in her bra to secretly record him boasting about his murders

Revealing her ultimate betrayal, Astrid hid the recording device in the only place she knew he wouldn't look as she chatted to Willem, (above) who is the most feared criminal in Holland 

Revealing her ultimate betrayal, Astrid hid the recording device in the only place she knew he wouldn't look as she chatted to Willem, (above) who is the most feared criminal in Holland 

Revealing her ultimate betrayal, Astrid hid the recording device in the only place she knew he wouldn’t look as she chatted to Willem, (above) who is the most feared criminal in Holland 

Hours of incriminating tapes have now put Willem, a gangster who carried out Holland's crime of the century by kidnapping the boss of the Heineken beer empire (pictured above right in the 80s with his then co-accused Cor van Hout), on trial again and facing life in prison 

Hours of incriminating tapes have now put Willem, a gangster who carried out Holland's crime of the century by kidnapping the boss of the Heineken beer empire (pictured above right in the 80s with his then co-accused Cor van Hout), on trial again and facing life in prison 

Hours of incriminating tapes have now put Willem, a gangster who carried out Holland’s crime of the century by kidnapping the boss of the Heineken beer empire (pictured above right in the 80s with his then co-accused Cor van Hout), on trial again and facing life in prison 

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Astrid said: ‘I know I have committed the ultimate betrayal and the evidence I gathered could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

‘But he had to be stopped. He had turned into a serial killer and I knew getting him on tape would be the only way that he could not manipulate the evidence.’

Astrid fitted a mini microphone to her bra and when Wim called round to talk at her Amsterdam home she was able to record his every word.

‘Wim would pat me down as he was suspicious of everyone, but he would not touch me down around my breasts,’ she said.

‘I wasn’t convinced the microphone was picking up his whispers so one time had it sewn into my jacket collar. I was terrified that he would find it.

‘I would have been dead by the end of that day, if not in hours, if he had found out. I was his sister and I was gathering evidence to put him in jail for the rest of his life.’  

Wim, 60, has been compared to the 1960s gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray for his ruthlessness and desire for attention when mixing with celebrities.

From his prison cell he has allegedly put out a contract on his sister’s life, in revenge for her turning informer.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Astrid (pictured as a child) said: 'I know I have committed the ultimate betrayal and the evidence I gathered could put him in prison for the rest of his life'

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Astrid (pictured as a child) said: 'I know I have committed the ultimate betrayal and the evidence I gathered could put him in prison for the rest of his life'

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Astrid (pictured as a child) said: ‘I know I have committed the ultimate betrayal and the evidence I gathered could put him in prison for the rest of his life’

Speaking to the Mail Online, she said: 'He had to be stopped. He had turned into a serial killer and I knew getting him on tape would be the only way that he could not manipulate the evidence'

Speaking to the Mail Online, she said: 'He had to be stopped. He had turned into a serial killer and I knew getting him on tape would be the only way that he could not manipulate the evidence'

Speaking to the Mail Online, she said: ‘He had to be stopped. He had turned into a serial killer and I knew getting him on tape would be the only way that he could not manipulate the evidence’

Wim, 60, has been compared to the 1960s gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray for his ruthlessness and desire for attention when mixing with celebrities. From his prison cell he has allegedly put out a contract on his sister's life, in revenge for her turning informer

Wim, 60, has been compared to the 1960s gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray for his ruthlessness and desire for attention when mixing with celebrities. From his prison cell he has allegedly put out a contract on his sister's life, in revenge for her turning informer

Wim, 60, has been compared to the 1960s gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray for his ruthlessness and desire for attention when mixing with celebrities. From his prison cell he has allegedly put out a contract on his sister’s life, in revenge for her turning informer

It has meant Astrid’s life as a successful criminal defence lawyer has been turned upside down and she is now part of a witness protection programme.

Despite living in a ‘safe house’, using disguises and driving a bulletproof car, Astrid believes she will end up dead as her elder brother will one day have her killed.

‘I know I am on borrowed time and whatever happens at Wim’s trial he will get me. If he is acquitted or found guilty and sent to prison for life he will come for me.

‘I just want to stay alive for as long as I can.’

Astrid has already given evidence against Wim, who ruled the Dutch criminal underworld for 35 years and is on trial at a top security court for six murders of gangland rivals.

Her decision to betray him, which could be ripped from ‘The Sopranos’, has led her to write a best selling book entitled ‘Judas’ which has been turned into a Dutch TV series with actress Rifka Lodeizen playing Astrid.

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin production company also want to make a series about her life.

But her treachery has come at a cost.

She has limited contact with friends and is often too afraid to meet her daughter Miljuschjka, a former model and celebrity chef with her own show on Dutch TV.

Astrid's life has been turned upside down and she is now part of a witness protection programme. Despite living in a 'safe house', using disguises and driving a bulletproof car, Astrid (right) believes she will end up dead as her elder brother will one day have her killed

Astrid's life has been turned upside down and she is now part of a witness protection programme. Despite living in a 'safe house', using disguises and driving a bulletproof car, Astrid (right) believes she will end up dead as her elder brother will one day have her killed

Astrid’s life has been turned upside down and she is now part of a witness protection programme. Despite living in a ‘safe house’, using disguises and driving a bulletproof car, Astrid (right) believes she will end up dead as her elder brother will one day have her killed

Astrid (second left) has already given evidence against Wim who ruled the Dutch criminal underworld for 35 years and is on trial at a top security court for six murders of gangland rivals

Astrid (second left) has already given evidence against Wim who ruled the Dutch criminal underworld for 35 years and is on trial at a top security court for six murders of gangland rivals

Astrid (second left) has already given evidence against Wim who ruled the Dutch criminal underworld for 35 years and is on trial at a top security court for six murders of gangland rivals

She has limited contact with friends and is often too afraid to meet her daughter Miljuschjka, a former model and celebrity chef with her own show on Dutch TV (pictured with Jamie Oliver) 

She has limited contact with friends and is often too afraid to meet her daughter Miljuschjka, a former model and celebrity chef with her own show on Dutch TV (pictured with Jamie Oliver) 

She has limited contact with friends and is often too afraid to meet her daughter Miljuschjka, a former model and celebrity chef with her own show on Dutch TV (pictured with Jamie Oliver) 

‘I know as long as I am here and alive Wim will not go after my family,’ she said. ‘I am the one who has committed the ultimate betrayal.

‘Strange as it may seem I am trying to put my brother away in jail for the rest of his life, but I still love him.’ 

Such is her fear, Astrid rarely ventures out. When she does it might be disguised as a man or wearing a prosthetic nose and false teeth.

All strangers are seen as a possible threat, she never sits with her back to the entrance of a building and makes sure she only travels in a bullet proof car. 

In agreeing to meet the MailOnline, she devised an elaborate plan using an anonymous hotel phone to direct us to an industrial estate where she was waiting.

A vivacious 52-year-old, she requested no description be written about her appearance for fear it would provide a vital clue for any hitman hired to end her life.

Her life changing decision came in 2013 when she realised her brother was behind the murder of her sister Sonja’s husband, Cor van Hout.

Until his death in 2003 when he was gunned down outside a Chinese restaurant Wim and Cor had been partners in crime.

In 1983 they became the most famous criminals in Holland when they kidnapped Freddie Heineken, the boss of the brewing empire, and held him hostage until a £15m ransom was paid.

The kidnapping, which was later turned into a Hollywood film with Anthony Hopkins as Freddie, shocked the liberal nation. 

Her life changing decision came in 2013 when she finally realised her brother was behind murder of her sister Sonja's husband, Cor van Hout (above)

Her life changing decision came in 2013 when she finally realised her brother was behind murder of her sister Sonja's husband, Cor van Hout (above)

Her life changing decision came in 2013 when she finally realised her brother was behind murder of her sister Sonja’s husband, Cor van Hout (above)

Until his death in 2003 when he was gunned down outside a Chinese restaurant Wim and Cor had been partners in crime. In 1983 they became the most famous criminals in Holland when they kidnapped Freddie Heineken and held him hostage until a £15m ransom was paid

Until his death in 2003 when he was gunned down outside a Chinese restaurant Wim and Cor had been partners in crime. In 1983 they became the most famous criminals in Holland when they kidnapped Freddie Heineken and held him hostage until a £15m ransom was paid

Until his death in 2003 when he was gunned down outside a Chinese restaurant Wim and Cor had been partners in crime. In 1983 they became the most famous criminals in Holland when they kidnapped Freddie Heineken and held him hostage until a £15m ransom was paid

The kidnapping, which was later turned into a Hollywood film with Anthony Hopkins as Freddie, shocked the liberal nation. Pictured: Wim, arriving at court this year

The kidnapping, which was later turned into a Hollywood film with Anthony Hopkins as Freddie, shocked the liberal nation. Pictured: Wim, arriving at court this year

The kidnapping, which was later turned into a Hollywood film with Anthony Hopkins as Freddie, shocked the liberal nation. Pictured: Wim, arriving at court this year

Astrid, then aged 17, was arrested along with Sonja but later released when police realised they had no knowledge of the crime.

Wim spent three years in jail in France where he had fled, and later served five years of an 11-year sentence after being extradited back to Holland.

Astrid kept in contact with her brother and later began studying law, including spending a summer at Cambridge University.

Wim’s connections with the criminal underworld meant that she was never short of clients.

‘The Holleeder name did open doors as my brother was held in such high regard by other criminals,’ she said.

She said the pair were also bound together having survived an abusive childhood at the hands of their alcoholic father.

In ‘Judas’, Astrid describes a horrific incident where her father bullied her into eating more than she could manage and when she was sick forced her to eat her own vomit.

‘Wim and I shared a lot and we were close. I knew what he was like and what he was involved with as a criminal lawyer but also as his sister. We shared many secrets.

‘There were people who wanted him dead and the police wanted him. I was always on edge around him. He didn’t scare me, but I always knew what he was capable of.’

After Wim (left) was jailed for the kidnapping, he built up his criminal empire and was in and out of prison for extortion and money laundering. But on his release from jail in 2012 he became well known, often posing with celebrities

After Wim (left) was jailed for the kidnapping, he built up his criminal empire and was in and out of prison for extortion and money laundering. But on his release from jail in 2012 he became well known, often posing with celebrities

After Wim (left) was jailed for the kidnapping, he built up his criminal empire and was in and out of prison for extortion and money laundering. But on his release from jail in 2012 he became well known, often posing with celebrities

Before embarking on recording her brother in 2013, Astrid discussed the implications with her daughter Miljuschka, who was fully supportive. 'She told me I have to do the right thing'

Before embarking on recording her brother in 2013, Astrid discussed the implications with her daughter Miljuschka, who was fully supportive. 'She told me I have to do the right thing'

Before embarking on recording her brother in 2013, Astrid discussed the implications with her daughter Miljuschka, who was fully supportive. ‘She told me I have to do the right thing’

As he built up his criminal empire, Wim was in and out of prison for extortion and money laundering but on his release in 2012 he became well known, often posing with celebrities.

Before embarking on the secret recordings the following year, Astrid discussed the implications with her daughter.

It is when talking about Miljuschka and her two grandchildren aged six and eight that Astrid’s eyes well up and she has to pause to wipe away the tears.

‘My daughter was fully supportive. She told me I have to do the right thing,’ she said. ‘But it has meant I cannot walk down the street with her arm in arm like others.

‘She is well known in Holland and in a way that makes it less likely that anything will happen to her. Miljuschka being famous makes her less of a target.’ 

In 2014, while Wim was awaiting trial for a gangland execution of rival, news emerged of the hundreds of hours of recordings had been handed to police and that Astrid would give evidence for the prosecution.

Wim was so incensed he allegedly asked two members of a street gang called No Limit Soldiers to get rid of his sibling, but this has since been denied by him. 

The Dutch authorities felt differently and Astrid was placed in a witness protection programme, while Wim was charged with solicitation to murder.

Wim's trial is expected to last into next year and Astrid is determined to be in court when the verdict is returned. 'By taping him and cooperating with the authorities I hoped to put a stop to him. All along this was never about revenge but justice'

Wim's trial is expected to last into next year and Astrid is determined to be in court when the verdict is returned. 'By taping him and cooperating with the authorities I hoped to put a stop to him. All along this was never about revenge but justice'

Wim’s trial is expected to last into next year and Astrid is determined to be in court when the verdict is returned. ‘By taping him and cooperating with the authorities I hoped to put a stop to him. All along this was never about revenge but justice’

His trial is expected to last into next year and Astrid is determined to be in court when the verdict is returned.

‘What appalled me was the way he could talk about taking someone’s life and not really think much about it,’ she said.

‘By taping him and cooperating with the authorities I hoped to put a stop to him. All along this was never about revenge but justice.’

 

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