ANPPiet S. and his lawyer Stijn Franken during an introductory session February last year
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 18:41
The Public Prosecution Service is demanding sixteen years in prison against Piet S., a criminal from The Hague who has been around for decades and is seen as the ‘final boss’ of a large drug gang. The OM today demanded prison sentences ranging from eight months to eleven years against other suspected members of the group. The suspects are said to have been guilty of drug trafficking and money laundering, among other things.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, the suspects in varying composition were almost non-stop trading in cocaine, hashish, ecstasy, crystal meth, heroin and amphetamine. All with the same motives: money, habit and status.
For four years, the police have kept an intensive eye on Piet S. and his network by observing the group, eavesdropping and intercepting their chat messages. “Any naivety that might still exist about organized drug crime will disappear like snow in the sun after reading this file,” the prosecutors said.
They characterized Piet S. as an “international drug broker”, who could set up smuggling lines all over the world. S. would have sat around the table with major players in the drug market and brought supply and demand together. Everywhere he took a piece of the pie, according to the Public Prosecution Service.
The 67-year-old Hagenees would be full of money: he had several houses, boats and expensive cars. Piet S. bought tanning studios, put money in a discotheque and, according to the Public Prosecution Service, even arranged a diplomatic passport from the Central African Republic “to buy duty-free watches and to be able to get away in an emergency”.
Message traffic shows that hundreds of thousands of euros flew in and out at a rapid pace. Most business was done with cash; Piet S. told the police that he has never pinned in his life.
An undercover agent was deployed in Spain, who sat down with S. to discuss the smuggling of large batches of coke. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the fact that a Spanish police officer involved in this action later turned out to be corrupt does not detract from the evidence. S. said in Spain that he only shipped mega loads to Europe, usually between 3,000 and 5,000 kilos.
But despite the suspicion that he was a top player in the criminal environment and made millions, not an ounce of coke and hardly any money was found when Piet S. and his co-defendants were arrested. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the gang members had been tipped off that the police were after them and had prepared for their arrest. “Piet S. will undoubtedly have done that by storing his money somewhere safe where we have not yet found it.”
Eight companies are said to have acted as “money laundering vehicles”, with a financial man setting up the constructions. “A neat guy who did not stand out in the upper world,” said the OM.
Remarkable barter trade, dubious loans, false invoices, unbelievable purchase prices and the constant pumping of capital: according to the judiciary, all money laundering tricks passed by in the car and real estate companies. The way in which buildings were bought is also striking. In 2019, for example, a former mushroom farm in Alphen (North Brabant) was paid for with a Ferrari, a batch of yo-yos and a substantial sum of cash.
Piet S. himself denies that he was involved in drug trafficking. He says he made his money trading antiques, cars and watches, and brokering criminal circles. The court will rule in October.
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