‘Brunswijk’s statement about ownership of Piet W.’s gold is unbelievable’

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'Brunswijk's statement about ownership of Piet W.'s gold is unbelievable'

In a major money laundering case involving cocaine trader Piet W., there is uncertainty about a shipment of gold worth 6 million euros. The gold bars were found in W.’s villa, but according to him they were the property of Ronnie Brunswijk, the vice-president of Suriname. He confirmed this in a short statement. The AD wrote this on Thursday.

Out of the fire

After three-quarters of a year, Brunswijk confirms Piet W’s story in a statement to the notary. Justice doesn’t believe it, the newspaper writes: ‘Maybe Brunswijk is trying to help his mate out.’

W. is considered by the judiciary as a major player in the international drug trade. He is said to have invested millions in gold. In the money laundering case against him, the Surinamese always denied that he was the owner of the precious metal and pointed to a well-known compatriot: Ronnie Brunswijk. W. had to try to sell the gold on behalf of the vice president of Suriname.

Declaration

Last week, after three quarters of a year, Ronnie Brunswijk spoke out about the issue. Lawyer Ruud van Boom, who represents W., received a statement from Brunswijk. “From the notary and with Brunswijk’s signature underneath,” Van Boom responded in court on Tuesday. ‘And that statement makes no sense. In short, it means that he confirms what my client has been saying all along: the gold belonged to Brunswijk and he gave it to my client to sell.’

Unbelievable

According to the public prosecutor, the statement changes little to the case, he says on AD.nl. He calls W.’s story ‘highly unbelievable’. He also criticizes Brunswijk’s letter: ‘I have an A4 sheet here with Brunswijk’s signature underneath. Perhaps the notary checked that signature. But I don’t get the impression that the entire statement was made in his presence. Moreover, it is summary and without any substantiation.’

Reputation

The Surinamese politician Brunswijk was sentenced to eight years in prison by the court in Haarlem in 1999 for cocaine smuggling. Justice has sent a request for legal assistance to Suriname to hear Brunswijk about the gold consignment. That request has now been submitted to the Minister of Justice.

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