Published On: Thu, Jul 9th, 2015

This is the family that has laundered € 150 million according to the public prosecution

curacao-willemstadWILLEMSTAD – ‘Nachman is and remains a man of his word, for whom a handshake is equivalent to a contract of 1,000 pages.’ So we read on the website of the Monterrey Group, the company owned by the Dutch family Grynsztein in Curaçao that were arrested last Tuesday under the instruction of the Public Prosecutor for laundering € 150 million.

Police have arrested six men, including the 78-year-old Nachman Grynsztein. Four arrests took place in Curaçao, one in Amsterdam and one in Miami. The family, of Dutch nationality, sells lingerie and runs a money exchange office of Western Union in Curaçao. That office would be pivotal in the money laundering practice. The prosecution (OM) claims that the family is not licensed for this business, but the office is registered on the website of Western Union, so if that is true, we still need to investigate.

Unlike the Dutch TV station NOS says, they really sell lingerie, assures a source that is acquainted with the family. At least they have stores in underwear in Curaçao and they are also active in England. According to the OM the family has never sold lingerie in the Netherlands, but U.S. dollars flowed through the Netherlands and Germany to Venezuela. Officially, Venezuelans can only get hold of dollars from the government, which is why such money smuggling could be lucrative.

In Amsterdam the Grynszteins operate via a virtual office at the Cruquiuskade.

Meet the Grynszteins

Data from the Chamber of Commerce shows that the CPG Worldwide SA was founded in 2010 by three family members: Nachman, Itzhak (Isaac) and Omer Grynsztein. The 78-year-old Nachman is the paterfamilias of the family who opened a shop in 1969 in Curaçao under the name of Monterrey. Under his leadership the company grew rapidly into the Monterrey Group, with six stores in Curaçao and three in Aruba.

In 1989, son Isaac joined the company as finance director and in 1998 followed by eight years younger Omer, who is COO. According to a description on the website of the Monterrey Group, the brothers bring a unique mix of characteristics to the dynamics of the company, which ensures that the daily operations are smooth and efficient. The Group would now consist of 14 stores, spread over the ABC Islands and St. Maarten. This includes a pair of Swatch stores and the aforementioned lingerie stores.

The trail also leads to Britain through the registered website found in the Chamber of Commerce, specifically the place Hitchin, just north of London. The leadership there is in the hands of 45-year-old Lazaro Grynsztein, most likely a brother of Omer and Isaac, who was arrested in Miami. Lazaro studied accountancy at the University of Texas, and is, according to his online résumé, in the 'fashion industry' in Fort Lauderdale. Together with his wife Jackie, he runs Ko-Ach Distributor, a firm based in Hallandale Beach that sells lingerie brands like Spanx and Hanky Panky. Indeed, the stores that are used as a cover in the money laundering business, according to the public prosecutor.

Besides the four members of the family Grynsztein, the name of the Curaçao born Ori Zahavi pops up. This 41-year-old is registered as "office manager" with CPG World Wide, and has been living in the Amsterdam district Buitenveldert. In the raids held last Monday one person was arrested in the Netherlands. The chance is that it is Zahavi; When Quote tries to reach him his phone switches directly to voicemail.

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