A police officer (48) from the National Unit who financed his house with criminal money from his brother’s company was not allowed to be fired. This has been determined by the highest civil servants judge, the Central Appeals Board.
The agent became involved in a criminal case in 2018. The Public Prosecution Service accused him of money laundering. In 2004, the man had taken out a mortgage of 240,000 euros with his brother’s company. This money turned out to come from investment fraud. Justice thinks that the agent knew that it was criminal money, but the man has always denied this himself.
The brother of the policeman was sentenced in Germany in 2003 to 3.5 years in prison for investment fraud. He would have funneled more than 30 million euros in illegal income. The German case prompted the Public Prosecution Service to start an investigation in the Netherlands years later. The brother was subsequently tried in two different cases: for fraud in his meat company in Breukelen and a short time later for money laundering. The Public Prosecution Service states that, among other things, through family members millions in real estate were bought in the Netherlands and Germany through dubious mortgage constructions. One of the buyers was therefore the agent, who was therefore arrested for money laundering in 2018.
No pure coffee
The criminal court ruled in March last year that it is unlikely that the agent knew nothing about the origin of the money. The mortgage was provided on much more favorable terms than at other banks and in 2012, after a fire in his house, the man received an additional loan of more than twenty thousand euros. Interest was also reduced without penalty, after the agent had paid no interest at all in the two years before. He himself stated that the irregular payments had to do with the fact that it was a halal mortgage. All in all, the court saw insufficient evidence to consider money laundering proven; the agent was acquitted.
The officer was fired by the chief of police shortly after his arrest. The acquittal did not change that. According to the corps leadership, there is serious dereliction of duty, because after it became known that it was not pure coffee, the man did not do anything to get rid of the borrowed money.
The agent’s lawyer DG Pieters is surprised that the judiciary waited years after the brother’s conviction in Germany to start an investigation in the Netherlands. “Then you let things simmer. You can’t blame my client for taking out that mortgage in 2004. He comes from a family of seven siblings and the oldest successful brother owned that business. My client was very young at the time; then you look up to your big brother. And of course he will not tell you in detail where all the money comes from at the kitchen table.”
The agent challenged the dismissal with the administrative court and initially backed down. But now on appeal, the man is proved right after three years and his dismissal is reversed. The Central Appeals Board considers it very possible that the agent was indeed not aware that it was criminal money. A civil-law notary also approved the transaction at the time. The fact that he later made no effort to get rid of the loan does not alter this, according to the judges.
In recent years, the agent has been working as a personal security guard at the service that guards politicians and members of the royal family, among other things. “He did a good job in that position. Everyone is excited about him. You have to follow a heavy training course for it and there is a shortage of personal security guards, so I see no reason not to let him return to his old position,” says Peters.
A spokesperson for the National Unit cannot say whether that will happen or whether the police force is considering a lighter disciplinary punishment. “This is a matter between the person concerned and the police. As an employer, we do not make any statements about employment-related matters concerning a specific person.”
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