Authorities in the Netherlands took a man and his daughter into custody last week on allegations that they sent approximately 5.5 million euros to organizations linked to the militant Palestinian organization, Hamas. They were apprehended on Thursday, and they remained in custody on Monday, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said in announcing their arrest. The two are being investigated for breaking Dutch law by violating recognized international sanctions, and European Union laws meant to combat terrorism.
“The investigation was launched in response to reports of unusual transactions by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and newspaper articles about a fundraiser in Europe for Hamas,” the OM said. “There is no formal Hamas presence in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, there are several pro-Palestinian and pro-Gaza organizations in the Netherlands, which are an important link in the international network that collects money for Hamas.”
Both the 55-year-old man and the 25-year-old woman reside in Leidschendam, where the Dutch financial crimes service, FIOD, carried out a search of a home. They also searched a commercial property in Rotterdam. During the raids, they recovered “large amounts of cash,” the OM claimed. Additionally, investigators seized a bank account with a balance of about 750,000 euros, and financial records.
In addition to allegedly transferring money to Hamas supporters, the OM said they suspect the father and daughter of taking part in an organized criminal enterprise “whose purpose is to support Hamas financially.” Specifically, the two were allegedly working with a foundation that is not on any sanctions list, but which is believed to be carrying out activities on behalf of a separate foundation which is on sanctions lists.
Neither foundation was named in a statement released by the OM. “This foundation was put on the sanctions list because it donated funds to organizations related to Hamas. It is suspected that the current foundation has taken over, and continued the criminal activities,” the OM said.
The Zuid-Holland city of Leidschendam is just northeast of The Hague, and is about 20 kilometers north of Rotterdam. In criminal cases in the Netherlands, a suspect can be kept in custody for up to three days before facing a hearing in front of a magistrate, who can remand them into custody for up to 14 more days. A three-judge panel can then extend the period of pre-trial detention by up to 90 days at a time. Both the magistrate and the panel of judges can also decide to release a suspect from custody, or release them under conditions, including home monitoring.