Gang leader chatted via encrypted phone in prison | 1Limburg

One of the leaders of the Parkstad gang had access to an encrypted telephone in prison. This Romano M. (25) had contact with people outside the walls via EncroChat about drug trafficking and car thefts.

This is evident from information held by L1. Romano was imprisoned in Sittard.

Also read: Parkstad gang member arrested again

Heaviest punishment
De Heerlenaar is seen by the judiciary as a leader of the Parkstad gang, which has been involved on a large scale with theft, receiving stolen goods and burglaries. In 2019, the judge sentenced Romano to five years in prison for his part. It was the most severe punishment in this case. Romano and his co-defendants appealed. That should be in May of this year.

drugs and cars
After his conviction, the twenty-something was held in prison in Sittard for months. He has managed to smuggle an encrypted phone into the facility. He had contact with people outside the walls via chat service EncroChat. Romano chatted freely about drug dealing and stealing cars. For example, he pointed out expensive cars that were for sale and that could possibly be stolen.

smuggling jails
It is salient that Romano had access to an encrypted telephone in the prison in Sittard. Recent research by L1 showed that a lot of contraband is going around in those jails. Recently, an employee was even fired on suspicion of involvement in drug and telephone smuggling.

Also read: Prison employee arrested in major smuggling investigation

What Romano and his associates didn’t know when they chatted with each other in 2020 is that investigation services would later succeed in cracking EncroChat. This gave the police and the judiciary access to the message traffic.

brother suspicious
Romano thus went from one criminal case to another. In his new case he is accompanied by his brother Marciano (20) and co-defendants Bo P. (20), Tevon de B. (21) and Justin de H. (28). The latter, like Romano, was convicted in the Parkstad gang file. The five are suspected of stealing and healing cars and forming a criminal organization.

Little left
Justice has not yet been able to prove whether the crimes that Romano discussed via EncroChat were actually carried out. His DNA was found in a stolen Audi RS3. The judge did not consider that sufficient to keep Romano in custody. “There is little left of the case against the client,” says lawyer Suzanne Kurvers. She declined to answer questions over the phone.

Mutual consultation
Of the other suspects, only Bo is still in custody. He was also free, but did not comply with his suspension conditions and must now await his trial in prison. It remains to be seen whether that process will come to fruition. Justice and lawyers Bo te Baerts, Kurvers and Arthur Vonken may discuss a sentence together.


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