Purmerend investigates threats, corruption at refugee centre

Some refugees are living in tents. Photo: Depositphotos.com
The refugees are living in marquees like these. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Purmerend council has started an investigation into ‘possible abuses’ at the emergency refugee shelter near an out of town industrial estate.

The probe follows questions by local paper Noordhollands Dagblad which is investigating reports of discrimination, abuse of power, threats and corruption at the centre, which opened on October 5.

Although the newspaper has not yet published its report, the questions and issues raised were so disturbing as to prompt mayor Ellen van Selm to look into the situation herself, the NHD said.

‘We expect this information to have a major impact on society, the staff, the municipality and the council,’ officials said in a letter to councillors.

Although the allegations have not been published, NHD did earlier publish two reports about problems at the site. In particular, the tents are known to have leaked at least twice after heavy rainfall and video footage online shows water dripping past electric cables.

Some 225 people have been living in several large marquees since the start of this month. The location will house 450 people when completed.

The emergency accommodation will remain in use for three months and will be used to house both adults and children, the council said earlier.

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