Police, tax authority raid Jumbo CEO's home in Noord-Brabant
Update 10:27 - Story updated to add information about multiple arrests and raids in a money laundering investigation.
The police and the Tax Authority’s investigative department FIOD are raiding a home on Meerstraat in Heeswijk-Dinther on Tuesday morning. The home belongs to Frits van Eerd, CEO of supermarket chain Jumbo, Ombroep Brabant reports. The Public Prosecution Service also confirmed nine arrests in connection with a money laundering investigation in the northern provinces of Drenthe and Groningen, and in Noord-Brababant, the province including Heeswijk-Dinther.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) Noord-Nederland ordered the raid, a spokesperson confirmed to the broadcaster. The OM would not comment on the reason for the raid. “We will release more information during the course of the morning,” the spokesperson said.
An Omroep Brabant reporter at the scene said that police and FIOD officers are moving in and out of the house with boxes. They’re also searching a car.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) announced on Tuesday morning that the police arrested a 58-year-old man from Aa en Hunze in Drenthe on suspicion of involvement in money laundering and VAT fraud. Another eight suspects were arrested in Drenthe and Noord-Brabant, and the authorities are searching various homes in the two provinces and Groningen, with the investigation led by the OM Noord-Nederland.
It was not immediately clear whether the raid on Van Eerd's home forms part of this action, nor whether he was arrested. “The investigation focuses specifically on various money laundering constructions in which cash and goods were laundered. This money laundering was done through real estate transactions, car trading, unexplained cash deposits and sponsorship contracts in the sport of motocross,” the OM stated.
The supermarket chain Jumbo sponsors several athletes and teams, including motocross racer Jeffrey Herlings, and Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen. The Jumbo-Visma team is also among the top organizations in competitive cycling, as well as speed skating.
The OM described the 58-year-old suspect as a "spider in the web," adding that, “The co-defendants are accused of having been involved in these acts to a greater or lesser extent.” The prosecution service also alleged that VAT fraud in the car trade was part of their case.
All nine suspects were in restricted custody, meaning they were being kept isolated, and were only allowed to have contact with their legal representation.