Expatica news

More arrests in Belgian army fraud scandal

23 April 2004

BRUSSELS – Six civilians have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into a vast fraud scam that has allegedly cost the Belgian army millions of euros, it was reported on Friday.

The six people, who have not been named, are accused of helping to draw up fake bills and requisition orders.

Seventeen army officers have already been arrested in connection with the investigation.

According to investigators, the scam worked in two ways.

Firstly a number of small firms billed the army for goods and services that were never provided.

The firms banked the payments then divided them between company managers and military personnel who were in on the fraud.

The second element of the scam involved shady requisition orders.

Here, allegedly corrupt soldiers drew up genuine requests for consumer goods, which were subsequently bought and paid for at shops across Belgium.

But instead of being used by the army, the goods were distributed among members of the fraud ring.

According to investigators, goods acquired in this way included fitted kitchens, furniture and tailor made suits.

In a separate incident, another Belgian soldier has been arrested in connection with corruption charges, La Derniere Heure newspaper reported on Friday.

The solider, who has been named only as commander Jacques M., was arrested after returning from a posting in Ukraine.

He has been charged with corruption, fraud, forgery and associating with wrongdoers.

He is understood to have set up a company in Ukraine that the newspaper euphemistically termed as being “in relation with the women in that country.”

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news