A homeless man is facing six years in jail after agreeing to live in a flat rent-free that was filled with GBP 11 million in cash as long as he did not ask any questions.
The incident took place when officers investigating money laundering in the city of Eindhoven in the North Brabant province in the south of the Netherlands, raided a house in April and discovered a secret room.
Inside they found a total of EUR 12.5 million (GBP 11.3 million) in banknotes with local media calling it the biggest cash seizure in one location in the country’s history.
The cash reportedly weighed a total of 255 kilogrammes (562 lbs) and a 36-year-old man was arrested at the scene.
The homeless man claims that he was allowed to live in the flat for free and was told by the owners of the money to keep watch over it.
He said: “I was glad of a roof over my head.”
Prosecutors at the men’s trial in Rotterdam, suspecting the man was wilfully working for the suspected criminals as a guard, have called for a six-year prison term.
The defendant said he was instructed to remain indoors if he wanted to stay in the flat rent-free, and that he could only leave when someone arrived to relieve him.
During the trial, he said he had nothing to do with any criminal operation and mostly watched TV and played videogames in the flat.
The defendant added: “If someone came, I was sent to my room.”
One of the judges referred to the cash-filled room as “Scrooge McDuck’s money warehouse”.
The defendant reportedly lived in the flat for two months until the police discovered it at the end of April.
In addition to the money, officers found two guns, three phones, and a kilogramme of cocaine.
The local authorities suspect that the apartment was a type of bank for the criminal underworld and that the defendant was used as a guard.
The police have so far been unable to identify any other members of the alleged criminal operation.
The Rotterdam court will rule in two weeks.
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