OM wants six-year jail for the “guardian” of 12.5 million cash

Photo Credit: Police

The police found 255 kilos of banknotes (€12.5 million) this spring in an apartment in Eindhoven. The man living there for free says he knows nothing about it. The judiciary calls him the guardian of fortune and wants him for six years in prison.

The suspect Irakli I. (36) became homeless years ago. He worked illegally in Utrecht, but had to knock on his mother’s door again and again for support. “I was ashamed”, the suspect said to the judge on Wednesday. He then went to look for a cheap house in Eindhoven. “In a kind of café.” But where exactly and with whom, he didn’t dare to say at all. “They are not my friends. An incorrect explanation can have consequences.”

Live for free

Irakli ended up living in an apartment on Paradijslaan in the centre of Eindhoven for free without a rental contract. The house owner officially rented the apartment to a different person and this person gave Irakli the key. In return, Irakli was asked to stay inside the apartment and was only allowed to leave with permission. According to the prosecutor, he was assigned to guard the fortune: 300,000 banknotes vacuum packed in large shopping bags. “The money warehouse of uncle Dagobert!” one of the judges called it.

Gaming

During his trial, Irakli claimed that he had nothing to do with the money, and that it was none of his business and that he never saw the enormous money counting machines.

The accused watched television, YouTube in the apartment and was gaming on his playstation. And he was chilling there with three cats. “If anyone came, I was sent to my room”. The man said he didn’t know anything about what happened inside. “I was glad I had a roof over my head.”

Encrochat

Irakli has lived in the apartment for two months until the police found out about it. During the mega investigation into the criminal chat service Encrochat, information of the address appeared.

A raid followed on 30 April earlier this year. Officers found Irakli, two guns with 215 cartridges, over a kilo of cocaine as well bills of money. Besides, they found three phones including a crypto-telephone which requires entering Irakli’s date of birth for unlocking.

DNA trace

The money was packed in big shopping bags in a hidden room. Forensic experts found his DNA on the handles of two bags. But the suspect explained that he did shopping on Wednesday with the bags.

Irakli’s lawyer emphasised that the DNA was not found on the firearms and the money counting machines. Someone else was responsible for the money, not Irakli. The lawyer calls that the penalty too high.

“Bald chicken”

The public prosecutor called the man a “bald chicken”: the money didn’t belong to him, but to a professional crime organisation. It is clear that more people were involved. During the investigation, the police found names of other people in the Encrochat messaging service. But they used pseudonyms such as Delta and Gongonza. Neither these people nor the source of the money have been found out.

It seems that the apartment was a kind of payment office and acts as an underworld bank. The police found several indications of payments.

The court in Rotterdam will rule the case on 18 November.

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translator: Shufei

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