Dutch financial authorities detained at least nine people in a large-scale fraud case and raided the home of the chief executive of the Netherlands’ second-largest supermarket chain on Tuesday, prosecutors and media reports said. .
Authorities raided homes and businesses across the country and arrested a 58-year-old suspect outside the northeastern city of Assen.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) said eight suspects were also arrested elsewhere in the investigation, which “focused specifically on various money-laundering practices.”
Various Dutch media reported Fritz van Eald, CEO of the Jumbo supermarket chain, which sponsors high-profile athletes such as F1 world champion Max Verstappen and the Jumbo-Visma cycling and skating teams. The police also reportedly searched his residence.
Prosecutors said the investigation found that “money was laundered through real estate transactions, automobile transactions, unexplained cash deposits, and sponsorship agreements for motocross races.”
“In addition, there are suspicions of VAT fraud in the car trade,” OM added.
Following a raid focused on his mansion in the scenic town of Geeswijk Dinter in the south of the Netherlands, the statement did not mention Van Eerd’s name or how he was involved. did.
Local broadcaster Omrope Brabant, which showed a video of the villa with law enforcement officers on the property, said several boxes were taken by investigators and the car was searched.
The 55-year-old businessman is well known in the Netherlands as a motorsport enthusiast who not only runs a supermarket group but has driven the Dakar Rally five times.
In a statement, Jumbo said it was “closely watching the ongoing investigations” by financial investigators.
“As far as we understand, the investigation is not directed at Jumbo.”
“However, Fritz van Ehrd is being questioned in the context of the investigation,” the statement said.
According to the NielsenIQ Market Research Group, Jumbo is the country’s second largest supermarket chain by market share, behind Albert Hein.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/dutch-detain-nine-probe-ceo-in-major-fraud-case-305076/ Nine Dutch detained, CEO investigated in massive fraud case