More assets seized from partners accused in dodgy face mask deals
The financial crimes inspectorate, FIOD, has again seized financial assets in the criminal investigation into Sywert van Lienden and the other former directors of the Stichting Hulptroepen Alliantie (SHA). The assets seized included homes and cars, the Public Prosecution Service announced on Tuesday.
At the end of April, the Dutch bank accounts belonging to the SHA leaders involved in this affair were seized with a total amount of 11.5 million euros contained in them. This time the asset seizure was made in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Van Lienden and the other directors set up SHA to arrange medical equipment, including face masks, for their customers. They said they did this without a profit motive. However, prosecutors suspect the three of having funneled their clients through a secretly established commercial company, with which they earned more than 28.5 million euros. One of the deals for the supply of face masks was with the Ministry of Health.
The court in Amsterdam already ruled last month during a civil procedure that there was not a clear distinction between SHA and the commercial limited liability company the SHA directors established. Van Lienden and Bernd Damme were subsequently dismissed as directors by the court, and Camille van Gestel previously resigned of his own accord.
Van Lienden’s legal advisor, Han Jahae, said in a short response that he finds it exceptional that the other accounts have now been seized. "These were already known to the Public Prosecution Service."
A criminal investigation has been ongoing for over eight months, when staffing agency Randstad filed a complaint. The company made personnel available for SHA because they believed it was a charitable cause. The former directors of SHA are suspected of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.
Reporting by ANP