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A man from the Netherlands convicted for laundering money in Thailand allegedly made from the cannabis trade in his home country has had his sentence drastically reduced by the criminal court in Bangkok.
Johan or Johannes van Laarhoven was originally sentenced back in 2015 to 103 years following his arrest the previous year. This was reduced by a third but it has now been further shortened to 20 years after appeal as this is the maximum term for money laundering.
His wife Mingkhwan van Laarhoven ot Tukta originally got 18 years but will now serve just 7 years and 4 months.
The case caused a sensation in 2014 with Dutch MPs later calling for his release amid concerns that his money – thought to be 300 million baht – came from the sale of legitimate coffee shops.
It was reported in the Thai press in 2016 that he had been ordered jailed by “high up persons” despite a lack of evidence presented before the courts.
Police said in 2014 that they had found a large amount of property, land and cars including five Porches that had been bought by Van Laarhoven, now 57, and his wife more than twenty years his junior.
The latest court decision was made at the Rachadapisek Central Criminal Court in downtown Bangkok on Tuesday.