Delhaize victim of decades-long corruption

Delhaize victim of decades-long corruption

Belgian supermarket group Delhaize has been the victim of internal corruption. For years, a former Delhaize manager demanded bribes from contractors who were working for the distribution group. In total, the scandal could have lasted 20 years.

Cash, football tickets, jaunts…

The public prosecutor of Brussels is taking 7 suspects and 5 companies to court for several charges: bribery, counterfeiting, use of forged items, scams, fiscal fraud and forming a gang of criminals. That is according to business paper De Tijd.

 

The 62-year-old Hugo J. is the main suspect and a former Delhaize manager, responsible for dealing with contractors who had to construct and maintain Delhaize’s properties. Hugo was probably assisted by Ludo D., an engineer from Grontmij. He took charge of the building sites and he created the designs.

 

Both men decided to take advantage of additional benefits: from cash and jaunts to the United States, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia to tickets for football matches and free alterations to privately-owned houses. They forged invoices, allowing the contractors to bill the bribes to Delhaize in a scam that lasted up to 20 years. Nevertheless, the courts are focusing on events between 2001 and 2006.

Delhaize satisfied

The list of contractors involved in the corruption scheme is apparently a lot longer than the current list of accused parties, but Delhaize claimed to be satisfied that a trial will be held to punish those responsible.

 

"Delhaize is satisfied that this will go to trial”, states Delhaize spokesperson Roel Dekelver, who emphasizes that the group is a victim in this case. “We found out about this situation ourselves and lodged an official complaint, claiming damages. Evidently, we have taken the necessary internal measures to ensure that this will never happen again."

 

The trial will commence on 8 November. It is unique in the sense that usually companies prefer to deal with internal corruption in-doors, fearing negative publicity. The possible sentence for kickbacks is imprisonment between 6 months and 3 years. Aggravating circumstances may lead to ten years in jail.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Arket Brussels opens: discover H&M's latest concept

14/09/2017

On Friday 15 September, H&M Group’s new store formula opens its doors on the Guldenvlieslaan in Brussels. The press got a sneak preview and discovered a surprising mixture of fashion, interior design and food. 

Nordstrom opens store without storage

13/09/2017

American fashion chain Nordstrom is to trial a new store formula in Los Angeles next month, in which customers will only be able to get advice and try out clothing. Purchases can be picked up at the store at a later date.

Primark benefits from weaker British economy

12/09/2017

Irish fashion chain Primark takes full advantage of the weak British economy, which prompted its parent company AB Foods to adjust its full-year forecast. The chain will also continue its expansion plans.

Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen invests in FNG

11/09/2017

Government investment fund Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV) will invest 15 million euro in fashion group FNG in return for 5 % of its shares. The money will go towards international expansion.

Gap Inc will focus on Old Navy and Athleta

08/09/2017

American fashion company Gap will alter its internal strategy and turn its attention to Old Navy and Athleta. Gap and Banana Republic, which both received the most attention up until now, will have to step aside.

Global Fashion Group cuts losses

08/09/2017

Global Fashion Group, the fashion group founded by investment group Kinnevik and Rocket Internet, managed to lower its losses even more in the second quarter. On top of that, turnover grew more than 25 %.

Back to top