Older couple arrested in international tax fraud, money laundering investigation

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention center. Photo: Politie

An older couple was arrested in Gennep, Limburg in an Dutch-led international investigation into fraud and money laundering, the Public Prosecutor announced. The 81-year-old man and 61-year-old woman are accused of tax fraud, money laundering, forgery and illegal banking. According to the Prosecutor, the amount involved in the couple's crimes is estimated at over 41 million euros. 

The Dutch authorities seized dozens of millions of euros in, among other things, Chinese art, cars, cash, a holiday park in France, a marina in the Netherlands, and bank accounts in Germany, Hong Kong and Panama. The police also raided commercial properties in Loosdrecth and Gennep. 

The Dutch authorities got help from the authorities in Germany, Hong Kong, France, the Philippines, Panama and Singapore in this investigation. The investigation revolves around the couple and their affiliated companies in Hong Kong, France and Panama. According to the Prosecutor, the couple is not registered anywhere and has no registered permanent residence. They trade in parts for military vehicles and Chinese art. 

The Prosecutor believes that the couple used forged accounting to move large parts of the profits they made in the Netherlands to their companies in Hong Kong. These companies have an offshore status in Hong Kong, and are therefore invisible to the authorities. In this way, the couple funneled millions of euros from the Netherlands to Hong Kong over the past years. The Prosecutor believes they used this money to provide risky loans in Hong Kong and to invest in real estate in the Netherlands, Germany, France, the Philippines and Taiwan. 

 

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