Finance ministry investigators target PVV senator in fraud probe

Photo: Eerste Kamer

Finance ministry investigators on Friday visited the home of PVV senator Gom van Strien, who was forced to quit as leader of the coalition talks last November after it emerged he was being investigated by Utrecht University.

According to the NRC, Van Striem’s home in Arcen in Limburg was visited by several officials in connection with an investigation into bribery and fraud, although the public prosecution department has refused to confirm he had been targeted.

Last year, Van Strien was accused of fraudulently transferring shares in Utrecht Holdings, where he was on the management board until 2009, to an investment firm in his wife’s name.

Utrecht Holdings, a subsidiary of Utrecht University and UMC medical hospital that specialises in marketing medical innovations, filed police complaints of bribery and deception against two former managers in March 2023.

The 72-year-old PVV senator has denied all wrongdoing, but admitted he had not informed PVV leader Geert Wilders and parliamentary chairwoman Vera Bergkamp before he was appointed as verkenner, or scout, last November.

Utrecht Holdings filed a formal complaint last year after commissioning a report by Deloitte Forensic and Dispute Services into the affair. “An inquiry revealed that these (former) colleagues did not act in the interests of Utrecht Holdings,” the company said.

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