Netherlands: Fraud in subsidies intended for asylum seekers

The justice department has started an investigation into serious fraud involving subsidy funds intended for asylum seekers. Two foundation directors in The Hague are suspected of diverting millions of euro.

The intelligence and investigation service of the ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the public prosecution department raided five addresses in The Hague on Tuesday, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

Accounting records were confiscated from a number of foundations, ambiguous private companies and fraudulent accounting offices. Three people were arrested.

State secretary for justice Nebahat Albayrak (Labour PvdA) and Minister for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Integration Ella Vogelaar (PvdA) were informed of the situation on Tuesday afternoon.

The Telegraaf reports that "sources close to the investigation" have indicated that the fraud with asylum seeker funds may also have taken place elsewhere.

The chief players in the web of fraud are Hague residents Henk T. and Gert-Jan K. The two run the Foundation for Housing of Single and Multi-person Households (ironically abbreviated with the acronym SHAM in Dutch). They are suspected of having issued declarations of millions for their own accounts.

T.'s wife was also arrested for alleged irregularities in declaring hundreds of thousands of euros.

SHAM has been granted millions in subsidy funds since its founding in 1986. For the past six years the foundation has also worked for the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA).

Source: Expatica (English)

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