The defence ministry has launched an investigation after 32 serving soldiers went on an expensive course to learn how to barbecue on money allocated to their budget for personal training.
The training budget was set up in 2019 to make sure soldiers are up to scratch. However, a spokesman told the AD, it has transpired that a number of soldiers spent the money on a hobby, in this case a €4,500 barbecue course.
The ministry normally only pays for books and course costs, but several soldiers appear to have bought an expensive Green Egg barbecue from the money, and that, the spokesman said, means they may have committed fraud.
In total, the ministry has reported 32 soldiers to the military police, one of whom faces criminal charges.
Lawyer Sebas Diekstra, who is representing a number of the men, said they want to know exactly what they have done wrong. “These soldiers made a request [for training] which stated the aim and was cleared by their commander,” he said.
A defence ministry spokesman admitted that chiefs had approved the courses which, he said, “says something about how good the controls are”.
In the meantime, the defence ministry says that all applications for additional training must now be done through the state jobs centre UWV.
The UWV is also responsible for the controversial Stap training fund, that is now being abolished, partly because of abuses.
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