Fifteen arrested in property fraud probe

At least 15 people have been arrested in raids on 54 premises in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium as part of a major investigation into corruption and bribery in the property investment sector. The Dutch public prosecution department said more arrests may follow.

A number of those arrested work or have worked at three property firms – the names of which were not released by the public prosecution department. ‘The firms are not considered guilty and it is up to them whether they identitfy themselves in public,’ the department said.
Financial services group Fortis told the Financieele Dagblad that it has been visited by investigators looking into a property purchase in 2006.
Sources told the paper that the deal involved the sale of property worth several hundreds of millions of euros by Fortis Vastgoed to the Philips pension fund. The investigation is focussing on the intervening transactions, the sources said.

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