Police reported that a homeless resident of Eindhoven was found in possession of € 12,5 million. According to the police, he was guarding it and had personally counted the money. The question remains, is the money his? Currently the police are investigating to determine who the money belongs to.
This information was released at the first public hearing of the case. The exact amount in question is € 12 579 380, made up in bank notes ranging from 5 to 500. The money was found in shopping bags and weighed in at 225 kg. It is the largest sum of money ever found in the Netherlands.
The police first came across the suspect while investigating the French service provider, EncroChat. A chat revealed that a large sum of money was located at a Paradijslaan address in Eindhoven. Further the chat also mentioned that the money is being guarded by someone.
This ‘someone’ is Irakli I. He was born in 1984 in the former Soviet Union, present day the independent Republic of Georgia. He has been in the Netherlands for a long time, but has not been documented anywhere. He is thought to be caught in the process at the Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst (IND). Whether he is in the country illegally, is still unknown.
It’s clear that he has no official address. However, he does have a place to stay: an apartment on Paradijslaan. On 1 May the police raided the apartment. Irakli was at the apartment at the time. The police also found 2 pistols and a kilogram of cocaine.
The police confiscated his mobile telephone and a crypto-telephone. They checked his location data to determine when he was at the apartment or in the surrounding area. The first time was on 4 February 2020. Chat messages on his mobile phone read: “I had a good opportunity and I went for it.”
In a different message he claims to ‘have saved a large sum of money’, for things such as holidays. The public prosecutor reports that from the chat messages the suspect apparently has a job: “I am fucking busy and have no free time.”
Irakli I. has not commented on the allegations. He has also not commented on the cash counter found in the apartment. From the internal memory of the device, police determined he was in the apartment when the money was being counted, as reported by the public prosecutor.
The criminal investigation department found coloured sticky notes among the cash. This had the total of certain amounts scribbled on it. The Openbare Ministerie (OM) reported during a midway hearing that the suspect had financial difficulties, no support system and no job. He lived with his sister for a short time but they parted ways.
The OM would like to keep him in custody for numerous reasons. One reason being the active investigation of his mobile messages might lead to other suspects.
The advocate defending the suspect has requested he be released due to insufficient evidence. He claims he knew nothing about the hidden room where the money was found. The court decided differently. “The case speaks for itself,” said the presiding judge. The court ruled the suspect be kept in custody for another 3 months.
Translator: Ame Harris