Married Couple Sentenced To Prison For Cannabis Money Laundering in Thailand

A married couple have found themselves in hot water after their underground cannabis kingdom collapsed.

Johannes Petrus Maria van Laarhoven, 59, and his wife Mingkwan Kaen-In, 37, were arrested at their home Sattahip, Chonburi in Thailand in July of 2017.

Thai and Dutch authorities accused the two of transferring more than 300 million baht ($9,794,250 USD) acquired from illegal cannabis sales in the Netherlands. The money was allegedly laundered into Thailand through banks in Singapore, Luxembourg, and Germany.

The two claimed that the money came from legal cannabis coffee shops. Selling recreational cannabis is legal in Dutch coffee shops. The court found this difficult to believe, claiming that 300 million baht was a ridiculous amount of profit for a coffee shop. 

This past August, they finally appeared before the Thai Supreme Court, who reached a verdict for the couple. Johannes was sentenced to 50 years in prison on 15 counts of money laundering charges. Mingkwan was sentenced to 11 years in prison for colluding with her husband.

However, the two are expected to serve shorter sentences. Due to Mingkwan’s testimony, her sentence was lowered to 7 years and 4 months. Johannes is likely to only serve 20 years, as that’s the maximum sentence for money laundering in Thailand. 

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