Belgian police deny fraud charge
11 June 2004, BRUSSELS – Police chiefs in the Belgian city of Charleroi have tried to shrug of reports that up to 200 officers in the city are being investigated for fraud by saying that they are simply looking into allegations of sloppy management in their service.
11 June 2004
BRUSSELS – Police chiefs in the Belgian city of Charleroi have tried to shrug of reports that up to 200 officers in the city are being investigated for fraud by saying that they are simply looking into allegations of sloppy management in their service.
The police were reacting on Friday to reports in the previous day's edition of La Derniere Heure newspaper, which said that up 200 officers were being questioned in connection with a scam involving bogus orders for clothing and equipment.
According to the report, certain police officers were suspected of using police funds to buying clothes and other goods, including 'Mag Lite' torches, which were supposed to be used at work.
In fact, said the newspaper; the officers took the clothes and goods home.
But senior police officer Francine Biot said on Friday that the implication that the officers had been involved in some kind of fraud was false.
She argued that the officers were permitted to buy clothes although she admitted that some policemen and women appeared to have somewhat over stocked their professional wardrobes.
"When I saw some of them had bought three jackets when it was time to change uniforms, I didn't think that was sensible," La Derniere Heure quoted her as saying in its Friday edition.
"Perhaps there was some administrative laziness when it came to the number of items of clothing ordered. But at present we are only talking about administrative errors. There were no fake bills involved," she continued.
She added that her services would be preparing a full report on the affair that would be handed over to the relevant services, including if necessary Belgium's judicial authorities.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news