ROTTERDAM - The Rotterdam businessman Lodewijk Pincoffs is on the run, after it appeared earlier that his African Trade Association (AHV) would be in financial trouble. There is talk of large-scale accounting fraud.

The company is said to have a debt of millions. A postponement of payment has since been requested.

Not just Senator Pincoffs, but also co-director Kerdijk seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. They would be with their family Have left Rotterdam.

One of Pincoffs' other companies, the Rotterdam Handelsvereeniging is financially healthy, zo wordt gezegd.

Panic at the stock market

The fall of the Rotterdam businessman's company has caused panic on the Rotterdam stock exchange. Because several companies and banks have lent money to the Pincoffs companies, fear is great that they too lost a lot of money because of this.  

“There are so many names mentioned of trading companies involved in the bankruptcy, that it should be considered careful not to indicate them. That much is certain, that among those concerned there are great firms who will be empowered by their capital to withstand the losses. "

(Algemeen Handelsblad - 17-05-1879)

Shares of African- and the Rotterdam Trading Association plummeted in value on the stock exchange floor. Banks also got hard blows.

Some banks would still have enormous amounts in credit from the AH. The Rensburg en van Witsen Banking Association is for sure 1,6 million guilders duped, zo wordt gezegd.

The municipality of Rotterdam could possibly also pay a large amount of money lost. An amount of money has been borrowed from 2,6 miljoen gulden, but that is loaned to the Rotterdamsche Handelsvereeniging.

According to alderman Van Gennep of finances, it still stands an amount of more than one and a half million guilders. The ground of the Trade association would be worth more than that amount, emphasized the alderman.

Counterfeiting in writing

The rumors have been going on for eight years now annual figures of the African Trade Association are getting rosier imagined that they are in reality.

The forgery came in a remarkable way to the light. It has been noted by researchers working on the contents of the deceased Prince Hendrik. It was two years ago became honorary chairman of the AHV and had also invested money in the company.

During that investigation, it appeared that the AHV had made significant losses in recent years. The company was able to survive, because money was being pumped from the Rotterdamsche Handelsvereeniging into the AHV. This was not reflected in the annual reports. Every year, the AHV commissioners have not noticed the forgeries in the annual reports.

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In Rotterdam there are rumors that Pincoffs would be arrested in Harwich (Britain) and that Kerdijk suicide in Antwerp committed. Those rumors have not yet been confirmed.

Pincoffs is one of the greatest business people in Rotterdam ever known. He contributed to the establishment of the Rotterdamsche Bank, the Holland-America line, the establishment of Heineken's breweries in the city.

Six years ago he started the Rotterdamsche Trade association. That investment company had to provide a further one development of the port of Rotterdam, especially on the left bank. The Rotterdamsche Vereeniging had a starting capital of 15 miljoen gulden, that mainly originated was from Germany.

Pincoffs was also political active, in the Rotterdam city council and even in the Senate. He was gold as one of the most important advisers to the mayor of Rotterdam Van Vollenhoven.

Hoe ging het verder?

Pincoffs left a mess in Rotterdam. Debt turned out to be around the afterwards 9,5 million guilders. That has been converted to current standards such 104 million euros (figures from the International Institute of Social History).

The businessman manages to get into the United States to end up. In the Netherlands, where people can get their blood drink, he is convicted in absentia for accounting fraud. He gets eight years in prison.

Rumors of the suicide in Antwerp van Kerdijk turn out to be incorrect. He will be jailed for two years.

Pincoffs tried a new empire in the United States to build, but that did not work out. Cigar trade and a journalistic adventure all came to nothing. He died more than thirty years after his flight Rotterdam in New York at the age of 83.

In Rotterdam, the image persisted until the 1990s Pincoffs has been a big con man (and of course it is). However there was also attention for this at the end of the twentieth century performance and the (positive) consequences for Rotterdam.

Partly thanks to Pincoffs, Rotterdam has been able to develop develop into the port city it is today, as one of the greatest of the world.

Later a square was named after Pincoffs and one is hotel in Rotterdam that bears his name. There is also a Pincoffs statue in Rotterdam.


De Tijd – 17-05-1879 – Financial scandal in Rotterdam

Algemeen Handelsblad – 17-05-1879 – The Afrikaans Trade Association

Rotterdam Today and Tomorrow – 30-01-2012 – Harbor barons like Pincoffs now have no chance

Wikipeida – Lodewijk Pincoffs

Engelfriet – Lodewijk Pincoffs

Huygens ING – Lodewijk Pincoffs

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