Two young brothers from Tilburg, together ran a digital mail order company for all kinds of drugs. Certainly this is not the entrepreneurial spirit they would like to see at the Public Prosecution Service: that is why public prosecutor Karlijn Gimbrère demanded six and three years prison against the brothers on Monday afternoon in the Breda court.
Police raided the parents home of the two brothers, now 25 and 23 years old, on July 16, 2017. A laptop was open in one of the bedrooms, with access to one of the drug shops on the dark web, the part of the internet that can only be reached with encrypted access. The police knew that drugs were being dealt through that laptop, because an officer had pretended to be a buyer on the dark web.
According to the prosecution, it was mainly the older of the two brothers who, in a “sophisticated way”, ran his digital drug store said prosecutor Gimbrère. More than 276 kilos sold by them, she had calculated.
Drugs were hidden in various houses in Tilburg and almost always sent by post to foreign customers. The fact that those envelopes with drugs were put on the bus in Poppel, just across the border, was, according to her, indicative of the cunning of the oldest suspect. Because he knew that abroad all envelopes from the “narcostate Netherlands” are viewed with suspicion.
Actually, a third suspect should have been present in court, but he was killed in a traffic accident on the Rueckertbaan in Tilburg in April 2018. Like the two brothers, he had already been released by then, pending trial. In the end, it took three years. Far too long, also acknowledged Gimbrère.
Lawyer Arthur van der Biezen denounced the high criminal demands of the judicial authorities. Both brothers now have a job in healthcare, the eldest is studying again at Tilburg University. “If he has to go to prison for years now, it will be disastrous for his life.” Where prosecutor Gimbrère referred to a “wonderful” police investigation, Van der Biezen saw a series of irregularities in the file. Before the raid on the house was no permission from the examining magistrate (Gimbrère had to admit that) and the laptop with access to the dark web was taken to the police station in Breda and further investigated there. Also against the rules, concluded Van der Biezen.’
The eldest brother confessed only to dealing in soft drugs. He said he had nothing to do with all the hard drugs found in the Tilburg houses. And that, according to the Public Prosecution Service, a lot of money had been made with the drug money (a bitcoin account involved 1.3 million euros), he had not noticed. The laptop that was confiscated by the police would have belonged to the deceased friend. For the youngest brother, lawyer Van der Biezen asked for acquittal: he would have known nothing at all.
The court decided to take more time for the verdict, which will follow on November 5. In addition, the court also allowed the possibility that it will issue an interim judgment, so that the serious accusations that Van der Biezen made to the Public Prosecution Service can be looked at a little longer.