Businessman jailed for 10-year-old Rotterdam port bribery scandal

Controversial Dutch businessman Joep van den Nieuwenhuijzen has been jailed for 2.5 years for bribery, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and possessing a false passport.

Judges in Rotterdam gave Van den Nieuwenhuijzen a lower sentence than the 5.5 years demanded by the prosecution because he was deemed not guilty on some charges and had waited more than five years for the case to come to court. The charges date back to the turn of the century.

Van den Nieuwenhuyzen was arrested in October 2007 in Switzerland on fraud charges connected to the bankruptcies of several companies and bribing the former Rotterdam port chief, Willem Scholten.

The bribes consisted of use of an Antwerp apartment and €1.2m in a secret Swiss bank account. In return, Scholten gave Van den Nieuwenhuijzen’s businesses guarantees of some €180m without getting proper approval.

Scholten was found guilty of accepting bribes at an earlier trial but is still waiting for his appeal to be heard.

Van den Nieuwenhuijzen, who stood trial before for insider dealing but was not convicted, told reporters he is disappointed in the verdict and will appeal.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation