European prosecutors gather at Dutch tax office for mysterious investigation
Workers from the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) descended on the headquarters of the Dutch tax authorities in The Hague on Wednesday morning. Dozens of vehicles were parked in front of the tax office building, and early media reports seemed to indicate that the country's tax office, the Belastingdienst, was the focus of the investigation. That later turned out not to be the case.
A spokesperson for the Belastingdienst told FD that investigators from the European office were working together with the Dutch financial crimes inspectorate, FIOD. The two were offices only assembled at the tax service building to then visit an unstated third party.
Details about the focus of the investigation, the name of the third party, and the suspected crimes were not released.
"I can confirm that it is part of a larger international investigation that we are conducting. We are responsible for tackling crimes against the European Union's budget. This may concern, for example, corruption, misuse of European funds or customs fraud, any crime that impact on European money," said an EPPO spokesperson to the ANP newswire. It was not a friendly political visit for the two offices to get acquainted. "It's not about catching up," she said.
EPPO was officially started in June 2021, and is based in Luxembourg. It is an independent prosecution service for the European Union. "It is responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU. These include several types of fraud, VAT fraud with damages above 10 million euro, money laundering, corruption," among other crimes, the EPPO website said. It can also carry out prosecutions in the courts of EU Member States.