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Playing with millions

Early last month, raids were conducted of four residential premises and one business premises in the province of Groningen. Reason for this was a criminal investigation aimed at four men and a woman. The investigation started after analysis by the North Netherlands Regional Information and Expertise Centre (RIEC). The suspects were using a number of companies in the Netherlands and abroad to run online games of chance, while not in possession of a permit. Part of the illegal proceeds was invested in real estate. Documents, real estate, and three cars were seized during the action by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD).The investigation team had already been able to establish that there were millions of euros in Maltese bank accounts, and a freezing order had drawn up. However, a few days before the raids, FIU-Netherlands, together with FIU Malta, concluded that that attempts were being made to divert the millions that had not yet been seized at the time. This led to immediate freezing of the Maltese bank accounts by FIU Malta, which, as turned out eventually, contained 20 million euro. The investigation team estimates that the suspects earned about 50 million euro from their illegal activities in five years’ time. The team eventually managed to get hold of 30 million euro in money and real estate.