I’ve read a biography on “super-criminal” Steve Brown. Knowing the “quality” of Dutch journalists, the book was better than I expected.
The book shows that flooding my home town of Amsterdam with “soft drugs” (weed and Hashish) was an intentional strategy, paid for with subsidies from the City of Amsterdam.
Of course journalist Bas van Hout gives it a spin, insinuating that it was really the evil Steve Brown that took advantage of the gullible Dutch government, but in many ways it’s the other way around. Steve Brown was used as a pawn of the government of turn Queen Beatrix´s subjects into easily controlled drug addicts.
Steve Brown was born in the USA in 1954 and as a young boy moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands (where his mother came from).
When he was 17 he discovered the corrupt world of government subsidies for the “lower class” youth.
In 1979, Steve Brown started the first Happy Family establishment in Amsterdam, Rustenburgerstraat 207. It was started with the help of a subsidy of 180,000 guilders yearly.
This was quickly followed by 4 other Happy Family “youth centers” on Overtoom, Nes, Dapperstraat and the nightclub: Happy at the Night.
At one point the Happy Happy Family received 2.2 million guilders subsidy a year. Part of the personnel was also paid for with tax money.
“The Happy Family” was a “non-profit” Foundation, with according to the Dutch Belastingdienst (IRS) a turnover of 12 million guilders, 4 million of net profits in 1983. In reality turnover and profits were much higher.
Most of the profits came from soft drugs, alcohol and gambling. Because it was a “non-profit” Foundation, they paid no taxes.
In 1984, the Happy Family scandal first hit the media, but nothing was done.
Most people don´t realise that in the Netherlands it is strictly illegal for coffeeshops to buy, grow or import soft drugs. If you don´t understand that every single coffeeshop breaks the law, you could become a journalist.
Steve Brown imported most of the weed and hashish from Morocco, Pakistan, India, Colombia and Afghanistan.
Some of the drugs trafficking was done by official embassy personnel with diplomatic immunity, who couldn´t be touched.
The “Happy Family” didn´t even bother to hide what they were doing. They accepted foreign currency from the flood of tourists coming to the “youth centers” that were then easily exchanged by the banks.
Money laundering was nothing more than double bookkeeping (or maybe it could be called no bookkeeping?) and then take the profits to Luxembourgh or offshore Guernsey using a shell company to obscure the ownership. The money could then be used to buy real estate without drawing suspicion.
At the end of the 1980s, the narcotics brigade of the Amsterdam police gave Steve Brown an offer he couldn´t refuse. The cops would help him get confiscated drugs and they would split the profits 50-50.
After Brown refused, most of his drugs imports were caught by the cops, who didn´t even bother to press charges, but instead kept the highly valuable narcotics for themselves.
It is no great mystery how the cops could do this, as the “super-criminal” Steve Brown and associates were talking about the trafficked drugs shipments over the phone!
The final nail in the coffin of the Happy Family franchise was a smear campaign in the media, notably the Dutch state TV-station TROS.
In 1990, Steve Brown put an end to Happy Family.
Steve Brown was a big spender and tried to keep the money coming, by ripping criminals off with the group of Ferry Koch (taking cash or drugs).
Steve Brown also occasionally trafficked hashish and ecstasy (XTC) with the Yugoslav mafia and the organisation of Klaas Bruinsma and Etienne Urka.
In April 1992, Steve Brown and Martin Hoogland were arrested for the assassination of Tony Hijzelendoorn (Brown´s friend).
Steve Brown then became government witness against former cop Martin Hoogland for the murder of Tony Hijzelendoorn and “drug baron” Klaas Bruinsma. No charges were brought against Brown.
Bas van Hout became the enemy of Steve Brown when he published his book - Steve Brown; beroep supercrimineel; de ongecensureerde biografie (1995) - with on the cover a price on Brown’s head of 500,000 guilders ($300,000).
Martin Hoogland was sentenced to 20 years in jail and on 18 March 2004 was assassinated when he was serving his sentence in an open prison in Hoorn.
He was riding his bicycle in town and was shot and killed, possibly by Boneka Belserang: https://stevenbrownsblog.wordpress.com/ ... eve-brown/
Here’s an interview with Steve Brown; he has an American passport, but you can hear he’s more Dutch...
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