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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Lucrative trade with iPhones from Thailand turns out to be completely different


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Anyone who allows strangers to use his home address as a postal address for a fee should be wary of shady practices. This became apparent today in the Utrecht court where a former resident of Veenendaal was on trial for fraud and identity theft.

One of the victims had come into contact with him through an advertisement on Marktplaats, in which he offered his own address in Utrecht as a postal address. He was persuaded by the suspect to invest in a lucrative business in iPhones but went into the ship for thousands of euros.

iPhones from Thailand
According to the Public Prosecution Service, 42-year-old Veenendaler MS persuaded the man from Utrecht six years ago to invest in a trade with iPhones. They would be much cheaper in Thailand than in the Netherlands. The plan was to purchase a large number of expensive models there and sell them in the Netherlands. They would then split the profit.

The Veenendaler had to gain his trust. gave the victim a power of attorney over a diving school that he claimed to be the owner of. When he also got to see a favourable annual report, he had enough confidence to step in.

The Utrechter then lent the Veenendaler a total of about 25,000 euros to invest in the iPhone trade. But according to the OM, the devices were never bought and the money was spent by the suspect on online gambling, hotel stays and paying bills from a garage.

Fake Phones
In court, MS claimed that he had been the victim
of scammers in Thailand himself. The store where he would have bought the devices would have put fake devices in the boxes. He claimed that he only discovered this when he opened the boxes on his return to the Netherlands. Fearing his business partner’s reaction, he’d kept quiet and asked for an extra loan to make up for the loss with a new batch of iPhones.

The suspect claimed that due to circumstances he had not travelled to Thailand again. He had wanted to pay back the borrowed money, but that had failed because the victimized Utrechter had besieged his family and friends.

The victim was present at the hearing yesterday morning and was repeatedly called to order by the court president because he constantly showed his indignation at the statement of the suspect. “I am amazed at how rude the gentleman is lying here,” he explained to the judge. He demands from the suspect his money back, plus the interest that they had agreed upon. In total, this concerns 40,000 euros.

De Veenendaler’s lawyer asked the court to acquit her client of all suspicions. According to her, there was a “business dispute” and not fraud or embezzlement. “Doing business involves risks,” said the lawyer. She argued that the case, therefore, did not belong to the criminal court, but to the civil court.

However, the criminal court will rule on the case. The court’s verdict will be announced in two weeks.

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