Story By: Lee Bullen, Sub-Editor: Lee Bullen, Agency: Asia Wire Report
The mystery over 11 million GBP found stuffed in plastic bags in an apartment in the Netherlands has deepened after cops revealed the man living in the flat with the money was supposedly a homeless vagrant from Eastern Europe.
During the first public hearing of the case on Wednesday afternoon, it was revealed that the man with no fixed abode, identified only as Irakli I., 35, because of local privacy laws, was found in possession of 12,579,380 EUR (11.4 million GBP) in banknotes ranging from five to 500 EUR.
The huge cash sum was contained in plastic bags with a total weight of 255 kilogrammes (562 lbs) at a flat in Paradijslaan in the Dutch city of Eindhoven.
It was the largest sum of money to ever be found in one place in the Netherlands, according to media source Omroep Brabant.
The police tracked down the cash and arrested the suspect during an investigation into the hacking of telephone traffic from the French company Encrochat when one chat stated that there would be a lot of money at an address in Paradijslaan in Eindhoven and that it would be guarded by someone.
The police went to the address and found the suspect, born in 1984 in the former Soviet Union in what is now the Republic of Georgia, but who has been in the Netherlands for many years where he was previously living on the streets.
The police said he was not registered to live at the address and how he came to be living there with so much money is still being investigated.
The suspect of no fixed abode appears in the records of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). However, it is unclear whether his status is illegal or not.
At the apartment, officers also found two guns and over a kilogramme of cocaine along with the mountain of cash.
The police also discovered a smartphone and a crypto phone which showed the homeless suspect’s movements at the time in question.
One message he had sent said that he had “saved a large amount” for things such as holidays.
In May, the police said they believe the money was from organised crime, but no further details on what or who the money was being laundered for were provided.
Irakli has reportedly refused to share any details about the cash so far.
When he was asked about the money counting machine with internal memory that was found in the apartment he said that he was simply “in the apartment when the money was being counted”, according to the prosecutor.
The defendant’s lawyer asked for his release due to lack of evidence, however, the court has decided to keep him in custody for at least three more months as the probe continues.
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