Delhaize victim of decades-long corruption | RetailDetail

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


Adidas wants to strengthen bond with small retailers

15/07/2018

German sportswear giant Adidas says it wants to strengthen its bond with small-scale retailers after they claimed Adidas is too aggressive in pushing its web shop, especially as they feel the brand is favouring large international chains as well.

Several candidates to take over Men at Work

12/07/2018

There are several takeover candidates for both the Dutch and the Belgian stores of the bankrupt clothing chain Men at work. The curator is confident an agreement should be reached today in Belgium.

Burberry sales increases thanks to new strategy

11/07/2018

The new strategy of the British fashion brand Burberry starts to render: the company had a 3% increase of revenue in their own stores last quarter. In total, Burberry has now a revenue of 479 million pounds (520 million euros).

FNG moves to Brussels stock exchange

06/07/2018

Belgian fashion group FNG has collected 60 million euros by issuing new shares. The new shares will be traded on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and - for the first time - on the Brussels Stock Exchange as well.

Athleteshop ends its run

02/07/2018

Dutch sports web shop Athleteshop has filed for bankruptcy, after an abysmal year in which strings of complaints led to all sorts of problems. Social media and review sites were flooded with customers complaining about late deliveries.

Alibaba goes Turkish with stake in Trendyol

29/06/2018

Alibaba is the new strategic partner of Trendyol, one of the best-known e-commerce companies in Turkey. With this partnership, the Chinese retailgroup strengthens its presence in Europe.