Heineken kidnapper shot by police in Amsterdam

Dutch police have shot one of the Netherlands’ most notorious criminals, Frans Meijer, one of the kidnappers that adducted beer magnate Freddy Heineken for a £15 million ransom in 1983.

Meijer, 66, was gunned down by a motorcycle cop in Amsterdam on Monday morning after fleeing with another man when he was challenged by police in the city’s Staatslieden neighborhood.

He was taken to hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, where he remains under guard. The second man, his son according to unconfirmed reports, was arrested. The pair are suspected of planning a robbery in the district and Meijer was reported to be carrying a firearm.

The motorbike officer, who was responding to call from a member of the public about the men acting suspiciously, was forced to shoot Meijer, police told the De Telegraaf newspaper.

Meijer is one of the most infamous members of the Dutch underworld. He kidnapped Freddy Heineken, one of the richest men in the Netherlands, and his driver Ab Doderer in 1983 with four accomplices.

The £15.7 million ransom was the largest ever paid to kidnappers at the time. £3.1 million was never recovered. Meijer claimed he burnt his share on a beach after finding God.

The kidnapping, which has inspired numerous movies and books, took place outside Heineken’s Amsterdam offices. The victims spent three weeks chained to a wall in a customised, soundproofed Quonset hut in a business park in Amsterdam’s harbour.

Police only discovered the men alive because of a “lucky lead”. Meijer, who used to joke in his local pub that he was off to “feed Heineken”, was arrested.

He escaped from a psychiatric centre soon afterwards and fled to Paraguay, where he opened a restaurant with his wife, with whom he has three children.

Meijer was later discovered by an investigative reporter and was arrested in 1995 by police in Paraguay.

He dropped his extradition fight in 2002 and returned to the Netherlands. He was released from prison in 2005.

Meijer’s accomplices in the kidnapping Willem Holleeder, Cor van Hout, Jan Boellaard and Martin Erkamps have had repeated brushes with the law since their infamous crime.

Holledeer is accused of ordering the murder of van Hout, the mastermind of the kidnapping, in 2003 and five other murders.

Meijer took out a newspaper advert saying he was praying for van Hout after the slaying.

Boellaard shot a customs officer who caught him cocaine smuggling soon after his release in 1991.