AMSTERDAM – The Public Prosecution Service in the Netherlands is again appealing to the Supreme Court about the return of 19.5 million euros to Suriname. The Public Prosecution Service cannot agree with a ruling by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, which decided earlier this month that three Surinamese commercial banks should get the money back. The court allowed the seizure of this amount of money to be lifted. Press agency AP reports it.
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service had the amount seized due to suspicions that three Surinamese banks and five exchange offices are guilty of money laundering. The money was seized at Schiphol by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service in April 2018 and was on its way from Suriname to Hong Kong.
At the end of 2019, the court in Haarlem ruled that the attachment should not take place, because this is contrary to international public law and the Central Bank of Suriname enjoys immunity as the sender of the money. The Public Prosecution Service appealed in cassation and the Supreme Court ruled in favor. In July 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that the money did not belong to the Central Bank, but to the commercial banks.
The Supreme Court referred the case to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal for a further decision. The court ruled in favor of Suriname on January 10, because 4.5 years after the seizure, no criminal case has yet been brought in the Netherlands.