Dutch companies that are guilty of corruption abroad are hardly tackled here. The Netherlands is thus not abiding by the international agreements that have been made to combat bribery, according to a report by the non-governmental organization Transparency International.
According to the researchers, the Netherlands scores worst in the category ‘largest exporting countries with moderate enforcement’, together with Canada and Austria.
Companies and people who are guilty of corruption abroad often get away with it, Transparency International says. They hardly come to court here. Whistleblowers also receive insufficient protection.
Shell in Nigeria
“It often concerns very complicated matters”, says Van der Laan, director of the Dutch branch of the organization. “Shell, for example, is now involved in a corruption scandal in Nigeria together with an Italian company. The case is now in court in Rome. It takes a lot of manpower to tackle these kinds of cases, but that should not be an excuse not to to do, ”said Van der Laan in it NOS Radio 1 News.
According to her, a good signal will not be given if no penalties are imposed or if companies are fined low. Van der Laan says that corruption can be tackled better if companies have to disclose who their owners are. “Nowadays there are often a lot of letterbox companies abroad. Army lawyers are fooling the Public Prosecution Service.”
The United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland are the best at tackling corruption of their companies abroad, according to the report by Transparency International. Germany, Spain, France, Portugal and Italy are also doing better than the Netherlands.