On Thursday, the Public Prosecution Service agreed with four members of the Amsterdam-Surinamese Basnoe family on prison terms of up to six years and settlements of up to almost five million euros. The four family members are suspected of, among other things, habitual money laundering and underground banking. The family operated from a business premises in Amsterdam-Zuidoost that, according to the Public Prosecution Service, served as its headquarters.
The main suspect and leader of the organization, 54-year-old Imranalie Basnoe, has agreed to the highest confiscation settlement of 4.9 million and a prison sentence of six years. The Public Prosecution Service seized his assets, which turned out to be the largest. Without the trial agreements, the sentence would have been approximately one-third higher. The Public Prosecution Service has agreed on sentences of two to four years in prison against the other three family members with whom trial agreements have been made.
Ninety million euros
The Public Prosecution Service has not reached agreements with three family members. On Thursday, sentences of up to 40 months and hefty fines were demanded against them. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the family is guilty of more than ninety million euros in underground banking.
Cash and bitcoins
The family operated from a business premises in Amsterdam-Zuidoost that, according to the judiciary, served as their headquarters. In addition, buildings were used in Amsterdam South (de Pijp) and Amsterdam East, among others. In addition to trading in cash, the family also appeared to trade in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoins. The organization had been active for many years. The Public Prosecution Service has even been thinking about this for 16 to 20 years.
The investigation into the family started at the end of 2019 after a tip from the Criminal Intelligence Team (TCI), which indicated that several members of a family had been involved in underground banking for many years and had laundered large amounts of money.
In April 2022, after extensive investigation, eleven suspects were arrested and sixteen properties were searched in Diemen, Amsterdam and Almere. Almost one and a half million euros in cash was found. Furthermore, luxury goods have been seized, such as expensive watches and vehicles. Furniture with hidden spaces containing cash and a money counting machine were also found. The investigation into the family has been widely investigated. The action involved 225 people from the police, Public Prosecution Service, Customs, the municipality of Amsterdam, RIEC and Defense specialists.
The investigation revealed that the suspects themselves did not commit direct violence and claimed that they were only involved in economic crimes. But according to the Public Prosecution Service, they actually supported criminals who were involved in the import and sale of large quantities of cocaine and had a lot of drug money. And a number of members knew that very well. Or at least that the origin of the funds ‘was not kosher’, as one of them admitted at the hearing.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, the investigation has shown that the role of bankers who arrange the money between buyers and sellers of drugs is almost as important as the actual drug trade itself. Without money there is no trade, and without bankers there is no money, the Public Prosecution Service stated at a hearing on Thursday.
In the aftermath of the day of action, the family’s three ‘commercial’ properties in Amsterdam were closed by order of the mayor. This concerns a travel agency in De Pijp, a tropical shop in East and a business premises in South East.
As a result of the investigation, the Tax Authorities imposed significant assessments and fines on four suspects for the income they received from money laundering. The Public Prosecution Service included these attacks in the trial agreements for three of the suspects.
The court will make its ruling on July 1, 2024.