The surviving family of a convicted drug smuggler have been ordered to pay tax of more than €20m on his drug profits by judges in Eindhoven, the AD reported on Monday.
Aran de Jong is said to have earned more than €40m trafficking vast quantities of cannabis to England, Italy and Spain between 2007 and 2010. Now the tax authorities want their cut.
De Jong’s gang were brought down in 2011 after police stopped De Jong when he tried to overtake a car on the hard shoulder. A search of his Ferrari revealed a bag of cell phones, which were confiscated, tapped and returned. Before long, De Jong was in prison.
De Jong’s lawyer Bram Moszkowicz managed to get him out after a year pending trial. However, he would never make it to court. Two weeks before his trial was due to start, De Jong was shot dead outside his home in the Diamantring neighbourhood of Eindhoven.
The tax authorities calculated how much cannabis De Jong’s gang trafficked, and factored in costs of paying gang members, packaging and transporting the drugs.
They also looked at his expenditure on cars, travel, jewelry and parties; arguing that someone declaring his level of income could not afford this lavish lifestyle. De Jong declared between €20,000 and €30,000 in taxable income every year, yet owned a Ferrari F430, an Audi RS6, and a Porsche 911 turbo.
The court imposed the bill after an appeal by De Jong’s widow. Although there is still a lack of hard evidence to back up the tax bill, the court accepted it, declaring that as De Jong concealed his income, the burden of proof is reversed in this case.
De Jong’s family disagree with the ruling, claiming that they knew nothing about the deceased’s drug business, the AD said.
The defense has also pointed out that the tax authorities could have made some errors in calculating the true value of De Jong’s cannabis trade. Not all of the kilos accounted for were actual cannabis and the gang routinely ‘bulked up’ shipments with processed pea powder, the court was told.
The family will appeal against the ruling, their lawyer Rob Zilver told reporters on Monday.
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