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Dutch national Johan Van Laarhoven, 55, has been sentenced to 103 years in jail by a court in Bangkok for money laundering. The man, who was arrested in Thailand in 2014 along with his wife, moved to Pattaya in 2008. His arrest came after Dutch public prosecution officials asked colleagues in Thailand to help apprehend the man who is known to have spent 30 years in the soft drugs trade and was the founder of cannabis cafes in Brabant. His company Green Grass has been under investigation since 2011. As part of that investigation officials were given the go ahead to sequester property and cash of 24 million Euros, a large proportion of which it is believed was invested in Thailand.
In January a Dutch justice official told reporters that Thai authorities had not been asked to arrest the man, but to simply provide information. “the arrest was their own decision’ they said. Van Larrhoven’s older brother, Frans, who is also suspected of money laundering, said that the Thai courts had ignored evidence that he says prove that tax was paid on every Euro of the cash earned in coffee shops. “He could not be prosecuted in the Netherlands and so he has been left to Thailand,” he said. ‘My brother feels he has been abandoned by the Dutch political system and the media.’