Van Laarhoven sent to the Netherlands under the Enforcement of Criminal Judgments (Transfer) Act

Mr Van Laarhoven, sentenced to imprisonment in Thailand, is being sent to the Netherlands under the Enforcement of Criminal Judgements (Transfer) Act to finish his term of imprisonment here. Mr Van Laarhoven will be transferred today. The Thai authorities have agreed to the transfer on the basis of a convention on the transfer of sentenced persons between Thailand and the Netherlands. Minister of Justice and Security Grapperhaus informed the House of Representatives about this in a letter today.

On 23 August 2019, Minister Grapperhaus spoke to the Thai Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, and the Thai Minister of Justice, Somsak Thepsuthin, to explore the possibilities for transferring Mr Van Laarhoven and his partner, Ms Kaen-In, to the Netherlands, within the existing legislation frameworks of both countries. This was done at the request of the House of Representatives, following a report by the National Ombudsman, published in the spring of 2019, about the actions taken by the Dutch government in the criminal case concerning Mr Van Laarhoven.

After arrival in the Netherlands, Mr Van Laarhoven will be transferred to a prison in accordance with the rules set out in the Enforcement of Criminal Judgments (Transfer) Act, where he will be able to have contact with family and/or others and receive visitors in accordance with the applicable procedures. The Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal decided on 7 November 2019 that Mr Van Laarhoven's Thai sentence for the relevant offences (money laundering) must be adjusted to the Dutch maximum sentence, i.e. a prison sentence of ten years and eight months. The prison sentence served in Thailand will be deducted from this in the Netherlands. Dutch legislation and regulations on imprisonment and conditional release must also be taken into account for this purpose.

According to Minister Grapperhaus, the authorities of both Thailand and the Netherlands have worked expeditiously on Mr Van Laarhoven's transfer in the past few months.

“I am very grateful to the Thai authorities for the fact that it has been scrupulously arranged, as quickly as possible and within the frameworks of legislation, for Mr Van Laarhoven to come to the Netherlands to serve the remainder of his sentence.”

the minister said.

As was previously reported to the House of Representatives, the Enforcement of Criminal Judgments (Transfer) Act does not apply to Mr Van Laarhoven's partner, as she has Thai nationality. The Netherlands will continue to make efforts to improve her situation in Thailand where appropriate and possible.