"It was 'just' €4m.
It paid for a flat in the Belgian city of Antwerp, some 10 carats' worth of diamonds, designer clothes, a lot of fruit, and a mixed bag of construction and engineering equipment.
The money was part of a €200m fortune which was stolen by a Russian group in Moscow, moved out via Danish and Cypriot banks, and spent in similar ways all over Europe.
The method is called "Smurfing" by money-laundering experts - using minions, like the little blue men in the popular Belgian comic book, to break up stolen funds into small parts in order to buy normal things and evade controls.
The €4m trickled into all the big banks in Belgium, under the noses of EU officials in Brussels who are trying to regulate the sector and many of whom have their personal accounts in the same lenders.
Belgian police are investigating the case.
And while the original crime took place some 10 years ago, EUobserver found that the Russian group is still making profits from it in Belgium today.
De Hous went into action after Hermitage's law firm in Belgium, Van Cauter Advocaten, filed a criminal complaint last February.
"We want those responsible for the money laundering to be held accountable for their actions. If any illegal proceeds can be found in Belgium, it is our wish that they be seized," Karel De Meester, one of the Hermitage lawyers, told this website."
Artikel in EUObserver van 8 juli 2019:
Foto © Mohd Fazlin