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Netherlands : four arrested in multinational fraud probe

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Four Dutch citizens have been arrested in a fraud probe on two continents into a company specialising in life insurance that took more than $200 million from investors, prosecutors said Wednesday.

During the last 24 hours, intelligence services and Dutch tax investigators and authorities in other countries had raided 27 locations in the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Dubai, Britain, Switzerland and the United States.

They seized real estate, cars and luxury watches, boats and a plane worth several million euros to “secure as much money as possible for investors” who had been defrauded, Dutch financial prosecutors said in a statement.  The four suspects are linked to a company called Quality Investments and were arrested “on suspicion of being involved in a criminal organisation, forgery and fraud.”

Hundreds of investors placed more than 200 million dollars (146 million euros) in Swiss-based Quality Investments to buy financial products in the United States, including life insurance settlements, the statement said.  Quality Investments was believed to have been giving misleading information to investors about returns to which they were entitled.

The four suspects aged between 38 and 49 were arrested in the Netherlands, the statement said. Two of them are also suspected of money laundering.  The Hague, Sept 28, 2011 (AFP)