Years of prison sentences demanded for kidnapping and robbing colleague

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Years of prison sentences demanded for kidnapping and robbing colleague

The Public Prosecution Service is demanding 4.5 years in prison against a man suspected of kidnapping and robbing his own colleague, together with several co-perpetrators. “You do everything I say, or I’ll kill you.”

Kidnapped

An Englishman was kidnapped in Hoorn on October 1, 2021 and forced at gunpoint to open his crypto wallet. His attackers took the equivalent of €186,000 (the daily limit) in crypto currency from the victim’s account.

Later, investigation revealed that a colleague who knew that the victim had a considerable amount of crypto coins was the mastermind behind the kidnapping and robbery. The now 38-year-old man from Breda appeared in court in Alkmaar on Thursday. Together with three other suspects: a 22-year-old man from the municipality of Breda, a 30-year-old man from Rotterdam and a 41-year-old man from Zevenaar.

A fifth suspect is still on the run. The public prosecutor demanded four and a half years in prison for the 38-year-old man, three and a half years for the 30-year-old man and three years for the 22-year-old man. An acquittal was requested for the 41-year-old man.

Pistol

The victim walked into a parking lot on the Westerdijk in Hoorn just after 7 a.m. on Friday, October 1, and wanted to get into his car to go to work. A man approached him and asked him in English about the parking rates. When he answered, the man pulled out a gun and pointed it at the victim’s head. ‘You do everything I say or I will kill you. “Sit in your car.”

Meanwhile, two more men arrived and the victim was pushed into the back of his car. Someone sat on either side of the victim, one of them pressed a gun against his ribs and the other forced him to hand over his two phones. A third man got behind the wheel and started driving. CCTV footage shows that the victim’s car drove away at 7:11 am, with another car following close behind.

Code

Meanwhile, the man sitting on the right of the victim tied his wrists with tie-wraps and forced him to open his iPhone via facial recognition. He had to adjust the security settings on the iPhone and provide the passcode to the crypto app on his phone so that the perpetrator had access. He then got out of the car and walked to another car. The victim was blindfolded and had to lie in the back seat while the man with the gun held him down so he could not get up.

After about 45 minutes of driving, the car stopped and the other two men exited the vehicle. Shortly afterwards, the victim heard another car driving away. He remained tied and blindfolded in the back of his car on the Riethoornweg in Middelie. He eventually managed to free himself, after which he drove to work, where the police were alerted.

Research

The police started an investigation in which cell tower data near the parking lot in Hoorn and near the Riethoornweg in Middelie were requested. This resulted in three important telephone numbers, which (as it turned out) were only used for the criminal offense. The telephones were activated a day before the robbery in the living area of ​​two of the suspects. Four of the suspects appeared to be in the same transmission tower area at the time.

Further investigation showed that one of the phones could be linked to the 38-year-old suspect. This man had already been mentioned by the victim because he had told him, his colleague, about his bitcoin activities, how to buy cryptocurrency and how to trade in it.

On the day of the kidnapping, the 38-year-old man appeared to have driven to Zevenaar, where the 41-year-old man lives, and then to Hoorn at 3:44 am. He also appeared to have been near the car in which the victim was sitting. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the 38-year-old man picked up the 41-year-old man that night and they drove together to Hoorn where they met the other three suspects.

Reconnaissance

The investigation also revealed that the suspects had been on preliminary reconnaissance from Rotterdam to North Holland four times in the month before the robbery, each time in different formations, where they had no business. The last preliminary reconnaissance was a day before the robbery. Three of the suspects then drove from Rotterdam to the parking lot in Hoorn. The 38-year-old man and the fugitive suspect can be placed at the crime scene. The investigation clearly shows that the suspects had frequent contact with each other before and during the crime and made various travel movements together towards the victim’s home address and the parking lot where he was deprived of his liberty.

Investigation also showed that after the day in question, the suspects were credited with a total amount of bitcoins that corresponded to the amount taken from the victim. The 38-year-old man received the most. Three of the suspects opened a bitcoin account within six minutes of each other on October 1. What is also striking is that the victim was immediately addressed in English that day.

Acquittal

The Public Prosecution Service ultimately asks for an acquittal for the 41-year-old suspect because it cannot be proven that he actually got into the car with the 38-year-old man on October 1 when he drove past his house.

As far as the other three suspects are concerned, the Public Prosecution Service will find the case proven. All three men took part in preliminary reconnaissance on the day of the incident and shared in the loot.

Before the victim was blindfolded, he could see the perpetrators (who had their faces covered). The description he gives matches that of the suspects. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the 38-year-old man is the mastermind behind the kidnapping: he knew the victim, knew about his successful crypto trading and ultimately received by far the largest share of the loot. He was not present in the car in which the victim was kidnapped because the victim would have recognized him immediately.

Injury

The victim wants compensation from the men of more than €197,000. This concerns material damage: the captured amount of crypto currency and his phone and then non-material damage. As far as the Public Prosecution Service is concerned, this compensation can be awarded entirely to the victim. In addition, the three suspects must repay the unlawfully obtained advantage to the state. This will be offset against the amount paid to the victim so that there will be no double deprivation.

Trust damaged

The victim’s life changed forever after October 1, 2021. His faith in humanity is damaged; that a colleague could do this to him. The perpetrators had been watching him before the incident and knew where he lived, what his habits were and knew his finances. It makes him anxious to this day and has left the Netherlands, leaving his work and family behind.

The suspects were well prepared and the victim was threatened with a weapon and tied up. He had to endure agony for an hour.

To this day, the suspects have refused to be held accountable. The Public Prosecution Service therefore believes that a long-term prison sentence is appropriate. The public prosecutor demanded four and a half years’ imprisonment against the main suspect, three and a half years’ imprisonment against the 30-year-old man and three years’ imprisonment against the 22-year-old suspect, all minus pre-trial detention.

The court will make its ruling in two weeks.

Source: OM

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