Twente man arrested for corporate espionage for China

Arrest (Photo: Politie). (Arrest (Photo: Politie))

The Dutch tax authorities' investigative department FIOD arrested a 65-year-old employee of an unnamed multinational as part of an investigation into corporate espionage. He is suspected of leaking corporate secrets, including patent rights, to a competitor in China in exchange for money, the Public Prosecutor announced on Friday.

The man was arrested at a train station in Twente. According to the Prosecutor, he was about to travel to China. The man's luggage, workplace and Twente home were all searched. The prosecutor seized physical files as well as digital data carriers.

This investigation was launched after the man's employer reported him. 

"Patents are protected in the Netherlands. It is forbidden to infringe on patent rights", the Prosecutor said in a statement on its website. "If you as an employee sell protected corporate secrets, you are violating trade secrets. Violations of intellectual property rights have become a phenomenon of international proportions. This not only has serious economic consequences, it can also severely damage the position of the Netherlands as a knowledge economy."