Belgium police sealed offices of three MEPs in corruption investigation involving ‘Gulf country’

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By Euronews
A view of the European Parliament.
A view of the European Parliament.   -   Copyright  JOHN THYS / AFP

Belgium police have sealed the offices of three MEPs in Brussels after police started a probe into corruption involving an unnamed Gulf country.

Sources told Euronews that the offices belonged to MEPs Eva Kaili, Marie Arena, and Marc Tarabella.

At least four other people, including a former MEP, were arrested in Brussels for their alleged involvement in the case.

The European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili was reportedly detained. And according to reports, the Greek Socialist party PASOK has since expelled her with immediate effect. 

In a tweet, PASOK said, "following the latest developments and the investigation by the Belgian authorities into the corruption of European officials, MEP Eva Kaili has been expelled from PASOK - Movement for Change by a decision of its President Nikos Androulakis."

After searches on 16 properties, including the homes of MEPs advisers, police seized around €600,000 in cash, computer equipment, and mobile telephones.

Prosecutors started their investigation after suspecting for months that a Gulf country was trying “to influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament.”

And that it was doing so “by paying large sums of money or offering large gifts to third parties with a significant political and/or strategic position within the European Parliament.”

Some of the suspects were also active members of human rights NGOs. The people arrested are reportedly being questioned and could later be brought in front of an investigating judge.

While the prosecutor’s office has not said which Gulf country was involved in the corruption allegations, several European media sources have named it as Qatar, the current host of the World Cup. 

Watch Euronews’ report in the video player above, or read this story on the investigation to learn more.