Ten from identical household arrested in Dutch ‘underworld banking’ raids

Police in Amsterdam have damaged up what they imagine to have been a single prolonged household enterprise laundering tens of hundreds of thousands of euro in money on an ongoing foundation for worldwide drug traffickers.

Ten males from the identical household, aged between 24 and 60, have been arrested in raids on 15 completely different places earlier this month, involving 225 officers from the police, the military and customs – the end result of a posh two-year undercover investigation and surveillance operation.

In tandem with growing the strain on traffickers following the capturing lifeless of a journalist final yr and a part-time decide in 2019, the Dutch authorities have additionally been specializing in “underworld banking” networks, which permit the proceeds of trafficking to vanish with out hint.

Typically, mentioned a police assertion on Thursday, the cash is “moved around” and both invested in professional companies or in different prison actions – or transformed into cryptocurrencies, comparable to bitcoin, inside the underground bankers’ personal community.

‘Branch offices’

“Through this network, a payment can be made anywhere in the world without the money having to physically cross any border,” mentioned the specialist Fiscal Information and Investigation Service. “An underground banker is therefore a crucial link in organised crime and drug trafficking globally.”

The intelligence gathered by police over the 2 years was invaluable. They established that the household gang had one headquarters in Amsterdam and a community of “branch offices” elsewhere. Senior family members ran the enterprise, whereas the younger members had “executive functions”.

Under the supervision of a public prosecutor, detectives watched whereas sportsbags and buying luggage full of money have been moved across the nation by members of the family. Their automobiles had hidden areas in case they have been routinely stopped, and the places of work had furnishings with secret compartments.

Cocaine and money

On a number of events, the police determined to not take motion within the pursuits of the broader investigation. However, twice in the course of the two years they carried out “normal” raids linked to their surveillance.

In the primary, €5 million in money was discovered and two males jailed, and within the second, three tonnes of cocaine and €11 million in money have been recovered – the most important medicine and money haul ever by Amsterdam police. A person in his 50s was jailed for eight years.

During the latest raids, police seized telephones and computer systems, a gun, high-end automobiles and different luxurious gadgets, and about €1.4 million in money.

They additionally recovered an unknown quantity of bitcoin in co-operation with authorities within the US, Australia, Lithuania and Morocco.

On Tuesday, seven of the ten males arrested have been remanded in custody by a decide in Rotterdam. Two have been discharged. A 3rd had already been launched by police, who say additional arrests might comply with.

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