Rotterdam officials reportedly bribed by Noord-Brabant road builders
Two Rotterdam officials allegedly accepted hundreds of thousands of euros in bribes from road builders in Noord-Brabant. In exchange, the road builders could charge up to 30 percent extra for things like asphalting, road markings and the use of road workers, with no questions asked, the Telegraaf reports based on the criminal file against the two officials, who were arrested and dismissed in 2018.
The two suspects worked in the City Administration department of the municipality of Rotterdam, where they were responsible for processing invoices. Main suspect Peter van den H. accepted 312 thousand euros in bribes, suspect Cor D. accepted 106 thousand euros, according to the newspaper.
When the Rijksrecherche, the inspectorate responsible for internal government investigations, searched Van den H.'s home in the spring of 2018, they found 22 expensive racing bikes, dozens of luxury watches, and high-priced pairs of shoes. Payoffs may have also paid for his luxury kitchen, according to the newspaper.
He reportedly confessed to criminal activity during a telephone conversation that he did not realize was being tapped. "That could be something, because the entire municipality of Rotterdam is corrupt as hell anyway," the newspaper quoted him as saying based on documents in the criminal file.
The Tax Authorities started investigating Van den H. while auditing the accounts of a road builder from Rucphen. Suspicions were raised because the road builder applied for a tax exemption for sponsoring Van den H.'s benefit cycling tour while the company's logo did not appear on the cycling club's jerseys.
In June this year, the municipality of Rotterdam dismissed another three officials from the City Administration for corruption. They too were suspected of accepting gifts. Four others were suspended pending further investigation.
The municipality also broke the contracts with the involved companies.