Prison sought for illegal fireworks dealers

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No image availableNL Times

The 22-year-old C.P. and the 21-year-old J. van de S. from Nieuwegein heard sentences of up to 1 year against them, Friday, before the court in Utrecht, for the trade and storage of illegal fireworks late 2012.

Officers, posing as buyers, approached the suspects on the internet, where they were offering the fireworks for sale.660 lb. of fireworks were seized, including 3,000 Cobra 6, and 72 mortar bombs. The suspects had the fireworks stored in a regular trailer in a parking garage underneath an apartment complex.

'If the fireworks had exploded, it would've caused a disaster similar to the one in Enschede,' said the prosecutor, referring to the disaster in May 2000, when a fireworks factory in Enschede exploded, flattening the Roombeek neighborhood.

The prosecutor demanded 1 year imprisonment for each of the suspects, with 4 months on probation for P. In addition P. is imposed a fine of 60,000 euros and Van de S. 20,000.

Van de S. denies having earned that much, and in fact denies involvement with the fireworks business. The suspect insists his part was limited to supplying a van against payment, but his accomplice, P., contradicts his story.

The suspects' lawyers want their clients to be acquitted of charges, based on the fact the fireworks was not investigated by the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) and the search of the garage where the fireworks was found was reportedly unlawful.

The court is set to rule on January 31.