Column Wybren van Haga: Where is the VWS investigation into the Van Lienden mouth mask fraudster?

Column Wybren van Haga: Where is the VWS investigation into the Van Lienden mouth mask fraudster?

Earlier this week, attorney Peter Plasman called on infected volunteers who helped Sywert van Lienden and his two partners import masks at the start of the coronavirus crisis, so Plasman could report the mask scam.

In Genk, the lawyer said Thursday night that the three were guilty of fraud in agreement with the government. Van Lienden said that no money would be made from the delivery of mouth covers, but later it turned out that they had left around 28 million euros. Plasman’s appeal was a success, because, according to NOS, volunteers came forward, so Plasman could continue his announcement plan. The lawyer has a clear goal: the millions of tax money hijacked by Van Linden’s company returns to the state treasury.

Great job, but what about Minister De Jong’s role? What does he know about the face mask deal? Why is the VWS investigation of the mouth mask scam taking so long?

The tint of fraud damages trust in politics

When other providers of face masks were referred to the VIP office at the time or simply did not receive an answer, official staff of CDA Minister Hugo de Jonge maintained a telephone hotline with fellow party member Sywert van Lienden. It was one of De Jonge’s top officials who approved €100 million for Van Lienden in order to provide mouthguards. This warrants clarification, especially as it pertains to taxpayer money.

In mid-June, it was announced that an “independent investigation” into the face mask deal between the Department of Health, Welfare and Sports and Sewert van Linden and his partners would not be ready until after the summer. Now we’re in the fall again, so we’re very curious about what results Secretary Tamara Van Ark Medicare will bring to the House. It is interesting to answer the question of why VWS did the work with Van Lienden & Co, while there were also other suppliers. I am also curious about the role of the highest Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in general and Minister De Jong in particular. If there is an agreement between two party members, De Jonge should pack his bags and leave. Because the tip of the trick hurts confidence in politics, clarity is urgently needed.

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Webern van Haga is a Member of Parliament on behalf of the Netherlands

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