Plundering funeral treasurer nabbed in Portugal

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The Denekamp councilman who plundered the bank account of a local funeral association he was treasurer of, has been arrested in Portugal.

Arwin van G. apparently stole some €500,000 from Helpt Elkander funeral association in Overijssel and fled the country in January, but by the time he was traced to a hotel in the coastal town of Milfontes, he apparently couldn’t even pay his hotel bill. The Dutch hotel owner recognized him as a Dutch fugitive and reported him to police who arrested him Monday afternoon. Reports are that Van G. was emotional and that he had made previous attempts to surrender himself to police in Portugal. He reportedly had also considered to commit suicide. It were apparently private matters that drove the 53-year-old man to transfer all the funds from the funeral association to his private account. He reportedly used some of the funds to pay off his debts. Initial reports had been that it concerned just over €20,000, but the association later revealed that Van G. had stolen a whole lot more than that and left the bank account empty. The association has since filed reports against him for fraud and embezzlement. The theft has caused the chairman of the association to step down from the board. A few weeks after he disappeared a journalist of regional newspaper Tubantia trailed Van G. to Switzerland, but he managed to escape then, leaving his bills unpaid. The Netherlands meanwhile issued an international arrest warrant. He owned toy train webshop 225shop.nl and was also co-owner of a recruitment firm in Portugal. Police say the Netherlands has meanwhile requested Portugal to extradite him. Fellow members of Lokaal Dinkelland, the local political party are relieved that Van G. has been arrested, because they feared that he would take his own life. The party has moved to dismiss the fraudulent party member.

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