The Netherlands’ Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested 2 people from Groningen on suspicion of money laundering and forgery. During the searches at four addresses in the province of Groningen, physical and digital records, two cars and cash were seized.
The FIOD believes that the detainees misused the Dutch government’s subsidy scheme for Fixed Expenses Allowance (TVL). The Dutch government had launched this scheme for business-owners who are unable to pay fixed costs after COVID-19-related business losses. However, companies applying for TVL must have had at least 30% loss in turnover. Therefore, business-owners must submit their data to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) as proof of eligibility.
The FIOD suspects that the detainees presented false tax returns to the RVO to establish their eligibility. Previous information obtained from tax authorities further suggest that the tax returns submitted to RVO are likely to be fraudulent. Moreover, the detainees immediately withdrew their TVL subsidy in cash.