Main suspect money laundering investigation extradited to the Netherlands
THE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - A 49-year-old Dutch man from Florida was extradited last Friday from the United States to the Netherlands. He is regarded as the main suspect in a major money laundering investigation.
The offenses were committed between 2004 and present in several countries, including the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Curaçao and Germany.
The National Office and Functional Office of the Public Prosecutor (OM) in the Netherlands, the OM Curaçao, the Dutch Combi Team and the Organized Crime Division of the Police Corps of Curaçao, started a criminal financial investigation in 2014. Findings from previous investigations in Curaçao and a suspicious transaction at a bank gave rise to the investigation.
12.7 million euros
In a joint day of action on July 6 the Dutch combined team (FIOD and police) and the Organized Crime Division of the Police Corps Curaçao arrested a total of six men. The arrests were made on suspicion of money laundering, forgery and banking without a license. A wrongful advantage of at least 13.5 million dollars (12.7 million euros) was obtained.
The main suspect was arrested on July 6 in Miami. He is considered the hub for the money laundering organization, who has acted as chief director in the company. During this investigation, on that date, two suspects were apprehended: a 78-year-old suspect with Dutch nationality in Curaçao and a 42-year-old suspect with Dutch nationality in Amsterdam. The 43-year-old wife of the chief suspect has been identified as a suspect, but she was not arrested. Another 41-year-old suspect from Curaçao turned himself him later that day.
In a parallel investigation in Curaçao on the joint action day in early July three men were arrested. It involves three defendants with the Dutch, Venezuelan and Indian nationality aged between 31 and 48 years.
Limited Liability Company
In 2009, the suspects’ company was established in Curaçao. In 2010, this limited company was registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam as a foreign legal entity trading in pharmaceutical products established in Amsterdam. A few months after registering the company the name was changed to the current name. The company's objective was changed to “trade in ladies underwear”.
The LLC has an office address in Curaçao and an office address in Amsterdam, where a large number of legal entities are located. Investigation has shown that trading in pharmaceutical products and / or clothing never actually took place in the Netherlands. This misrepresentation is probably a front for the financial services industry.
Suspicious money flows
The investigation has brought to light numerous suspicious money flows from the bank account of the suspects. Presumably done under the guise of spot sales revenues from trade in clothing.
In total, an amount of nearly 150 million euros is credited from a so-called German payment service provider. This is a legal service provider that provides retailers with payment options like pin terminals, bank transfers and credit card payments.
Venezuelan credit cards
The suspects’ LLC, through the payment service provider, received pin terminals out of sight of the authorities and moved it to Curaçao. Since these are used almost exclusively for payments made with Venezuelan credit cards.
The LLC in Curaçao sold cash currency to Venezuelans on a credit card payment. The equivalent was then credited to their Dutch bank account. The funds were then transferred directly to bank accounts in the United States among others, Curaçao and Panama. The sales of cash are then presented in the financial statements as sales revenue of clothing by the suspicious LLC in Amsterdam.
The main suspect is arraigned after arriving in the Netherlands to the magistrate. The other three male suspects in the Dutch financial criminal investigation have been released because of poor health. They remain suspects in the investigation. This also applies to the wife of the prime suspect.