Jumbo CEO steps down amid money laundering investigation
The CEO of Jumbo will temporarily step down from his role overseeing the management of the supermarket chain. Frits van Eerd was arrested earlier this month along with eight other people as part of an investigation into money laundering and VAT fraud.
"After careful consultation with his family and the Supervisory Board, Frits van Eerd has decided to temporarily step down as general manager of Jumbo. This is in Jumbo's best interest and also makes it possible for Frits to fully concentrate on his personal situation," Jumbo said in a statement released on Friday afternoon. "The van Eerd family, the Supervisory Board and the management team respect this courageous decision and promise him their full support in the coming period."
The statement did not identify an interim CEO. Jumbo said that consequences to the management of the company will be announced at a later date.
The suspects identified in the case are alleged to have used real estate transactions, automotive deals, undeclared cash deposits, and motocross sport sponsorship contracts to launder large amounts, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said. The OM also said the investigation suggested incidents of sales tax fraud related to the automotive trade.
Financial crimes inspectorate FIOD raided several buildings in the Netherlands on 13 September, including Van Eerd’s home in Heeswijk-Dinther. The Jumbo executive was arrested and jailed for six days before he was eventually released. Van Eerd was released on Sunday while the authorities continued their investigation. The OM said that Van Eerd was still a suspect in the case, but another individual is considered the person who orchestrated the scheme. At the time, Jumbo said it would "carefully" discuss the situation.
The primary suspect in the case, a 58-year-old man from Aa en Hunze, was not released with Van Eerd. A 57-year-old woman from Gasteren was also released on Sunday. Like Van Eerd, she was still believed to be a suspect in this case. Five other suspects, all still part of the investigation, were also released from jail. They were identified as a 48-year-old woman from Gasteren, a 50-year-old woman from Assen, two men from Assen aged 33 and 46, and a 68-year-old man from Rosmalen.
The criminal investigation does not involve the supermarket chain's operations, Jumbo previously said.