The Netherlands' Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has published its annual report for 2020. This report highlights the power of collaboration and cooperation to ease investigations of fraud, money-laundering and corruption.
Since 2020 saw the COVID-19 pandemic taking over people’s lives, there was an inevitable delay of many criminal investigations for several months as observations, searches and questioning could not take place in the usual manner. Moreover, the FIOD identified and investigated incidents of fraud related to personal protective equipment, misuse of COVID-19 aid measures, etc.
At the same time, in 2020, the FIOD saw the formation of several teams with employees from various investigative services and other government organizations, one of them being the Multidisciplinary Intervention Team (MIT). The Dutch government and banks also began a collaboration to combat trade-based money-laundering (TBML). Further, 2020 witnessed the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) international cooperation with law enforcement agencies from Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. The first agenda for J5 was to tackle offshore tax evasion.
In 2021, FIOD will sharpen its focus on combating financial crimes, especially COVID-19-related financial crimes as the pandemic is not going away immediately. It will also opt for a multidisciplinary approach by engendering an international collaboration between governments, citizens, businesses and science. The FIOD will also promote public-private cooperation to fight corruption and money-laundering.