Street newspaper seller found with almost €32,000 in cash — but why?

Is this vendor streetwise or in disguise?

Police officers in the Hague arrested a suspiciously successful street newspaper seller on Saturday. 

To the officers’ surprise, the paper in the seller’s possession went far beyond the expected product. Newspapers, yes, but also stacks of €50 notes — 636 of them.

Providing his papers?

Initially approached in connection with an ongoing check for ondermijning (“subversion”), the vendor was unable to show any ID. 

“That is why he was arrested”, explains a spokesperson for The Hague police to the AD.

Ondermijning (subversion): A term referring to the use of legal companies and services for illegal activities. This could include money laundering practices covered up in legal companies, for example. 

The police explain potential signs as stores without frequent customers, cash-only entrepreneurs or even simply the smell of weed in certain commercial buildings.

Show me the money!

Once at the station, he was asked to empty his pockets onto the table. 

It must have taken a while — after all, counting out €31,800 in €50 notes can’t be quick.

Police released images of the wads of cash. Image: Politie Den Haag/Press Release

With the total counted, the man was interrogated and found to be staying in the Netherlands illegally. 

So where did the cash come from? No idea. The man has now been released and the mystery money is in the hands of the Identification and Human Trafficking Department (AVIM).

Looks like this newspaper seller has plenty of issues — legal ones, at least.

Were you as surprised as us to hear about this suspicious seller? Tell us in the comments below!

Lottie Gale 🇬🇧
Lottie Gale 🇬🇧
Lottie joins DutchReview as an editorial intern after gaining a Bachelor’s in English from her native England. She continues to pursue all things literature in her MA Literature Today at Utrecht University. She is loving life here, and the ever-looming rainclouds often make it feel like a home from home. Lottie arrived to complete her studies and hone her writing skills — she’ll stay for the Dutch tranquility, tulips and tompouce.


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