Wednesday 01 February 2023

Fraud squad looks into three SHV subsidiaries following bribery allegations

Three companies in the SHV group – the largest family-owned company in the country – are under investigation by government fraud squad Fiod on charges which include bribery and fraud, the NRC reported on Monday.

Fiod is looking into Econosto (technical parts), Mammoet (heavy transport) and Nutreco (animal foods), the paper said.  All are part of the SHV group which is owned by the Fentener van Vlissingen family. SHV employs 60,000 people in 58 countries and turns over an annual €20bn.

The NRC said in February last year that Econosto had paid commissions to buyers at oil and gas companies in the Middle East in exchange for orders over many years. These payments were not recorded on Econosto’s books.

Econosto’s own accountant termed the payments bribery and the justice ministry now has the shadow bookkeeping in its hands, the NRC said. The company also allegedly traded in Iran during the trade embargo.

The public prosecutor is also looking into a €3m payment by Mammoet which secured a €40m contract to salvage a shipwreck in Mauritania.  SHV sold Mammoet’s salvage unit in 2016.

However, Mammoet’s heavy-lift division is also suspected of bribery in the Middle East in 2015, the NRC said.

Nutreco is also under investigation in Chile for charging customers more than was documented and the Chilean authoitiess have joined Fiod in looking into the matter, the NRC said.

The holding company itself is not under investigation, the NRC reported but says the public prosecution department has confirmed the investigations into the three units.

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