Sunday 05 July 2020

Car dealership agrees to €12m deal in offical vehicle corruption scandal

Dutch police car close-up

Car import company Pon’s Automobielhandel has reached a €12m out of court settlement for its role in a bribery and corruption scandal involving contracts for police and defence ministry vehicles.

Pon agreed to the deal after an investigation showed its staff  bought presents for officials and paid for foreign trips in an effort to win lucrative deals worth millions of euros between 2001 and 2011.

The police investigation found eight Pon workers were involved in the bribery, offering civil servants cheap rental cars, discounts on car repairs and exotic holidays and luxury cruises. In total, the company is said to have spent over €100,000 on bribing officials.

The public prosecution department said in a statement it considered the settlement an ‘appropriate’ deal, given that the company’s current board had completely distanced themselves from the corruption and had introduced a new compliance structure.

The company also cooperated fully with the investigation, the department said.

The formal investigation into wide corruption involving police and defence ministry car contracts began in March 2012 and identified 37 potential suspects.

Last year, the public prosecutor said four police officers and four defence ministry officials would face criminal charges for corruption. A number of other cases are still outstanding.

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