240 hours of community service demanded against Assenaar for building cannabis farm

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) demands a community service of 240 hours against a 51-year-old Assenaar for building cannabis farms in East Groningen. De Assenaar, together with a man from Nieuw-Buinen, is a suspect in a drug case that has occupied the judiciary for years.

A 47-year-old man from Weener in Germany was sentenced to fifteen months in prison for growing hemp on a large scale in East Groningen. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the man was at the head of a group that set up large nurseries in Blijham, Bellingwolde and Veelerveen.

Notorious Boss

In addition to the community service for the Assenaar, the Public Prosecution Service demanded a six-month prison sentence against a 32-year-old from Groningen for building the nurseries. A 59-year-old from Brabant would have to serve a prison sentence of eight months for his role. The case against a 29-year-old man from Nieuw-Buinen was postponed due to illness.

The buildings that would be used for cultivation belonged to a notorious real estate dealer in Utrecht. The pawnbroker regularly went to court for irregularities with tenants and the government. The man died at the end of November 2017 at the age of 82 and can therefore no longer be tried.

Observation team

Local residents tipped off the police at the end of 2016 about a possible nursery in a farm on Lindenlaan in Bellingwolde. A heat measurement was performed and the energy consumption was mapped. The officers also mounted a camera on the building and observed. The officers noted the license plates of cars.

In this way, the real estate owner from Utrecht came into the picture, but also the 47-year-old suspect from Weener who managed the property. According to the OM, the pawnbroker rented properties to the suspect, knowing that he was very successful in the hemp world.


Local residents also reported the suspicion of a cannabis nursery in a farm in Blijham and Veelerveen. Those properties were also owned by the real estate dealer. In May, June and October, the agents raided the premises. They found nurseries that ranged from over a thousand to nearly three thousand hemp plants per property.

Due to his death, the pawnbroker could no longer be prosecuted, but this did not apply to his company that passed to heirs. They paid a fine of 20,000 euros and the illegally obtained rent of 130,000 euros. The heirs also renounced the farms in Groningen.

Impractical administration

The public prosecutor took the passage of time into account in his sentence. After four years, this case finally comes to court. This was mainly due to the financial investigation. The property manager wrote down everything on notes, a computer was foreign to him. It was almost impossible for the judiciary to get a clear picture of that administration.

Subsequently, the delay was further increased due to the coronavirus outbreak, witness questioning and planning problems. The Public Prosecution Service wants to recover a total of 1.2 million euros from all five suspects. The four on trial today largely denied their involvement in these cannabis farms or invoked their right to remain silent during the investigation. They have not earned anything from this, or at least not as much as the Public Prosecution Service suggests, their lawyers said.

The court will rule on April 19.