March 21, 2023

Suitcases full of money, luxury holiday trips and secret bank accounts… Qatar bribery stirs up Europe

2 min read

Brussels: Qatar, which has been in news for a month for the FIFA World Cup 2022, is now in headlines for a big bribery scandal. The football World Cup will end tomorrow with the title match between France and Argentina, but a wave of corruption has gripped Europe. Qatar has been accused of bribing members of the European Union. In this high-profile corruption case, it has been revealed that Qatar bribed European MPs to influence policies. This big scandal has created an uproar in the European Parliament. Belgium’s Federal Investigation Agency has arrested 4 people on charges of corruption, money laundering and criminal conspiracy in collusion with ‘a Gulf country’.

Earlier, the Vice President of the European Parliament, Eva Kelly, was arrested yesterday on charges of corruption. Thousands of Euros were recovered from Cali and his hideouts. Eva Kelly is accused of taking bribes from Qatar to help make policies favorable to it and suppress its criticism. Voting took place in the European Parliament to dismiss Kelly from his post. There were 625 votes in his opposition and only 1 vote in favor. However, he has denied his involvement in the bribery scandal. Suspicions have been raised by the Belgian Federal Office that third parties paid large sums of money to people holding political and strategic positions within the European Parliament.

The probe agency said that bribes were offered to MPs to influence the decisions of Parliament. Belgian police raided MPs’ homes and parliamentary offices at least 20 times, seizing €1.5 million ($1.6 million) in cash, computers and phones. According to the New York Times report, so far 6 people have been called for questioning by the authorities in this Big Scandal, out of which 2 have been released, while 4 have been arrested. Others detained on Friday included Francesco Giorgi, husband of Eva Cali, who works as an aide to Italian MEP Andrea Cozzolino.

Along with this, Eva Cali’s father Alexandros Calis has also been detained for questioning. According to the Times report, Luca Visentini, head of the International Trade Union, and Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former member of the European Parliament, have also been named in the bribery case. The identity of the sixth person has not been revealed. These members of the European Parliament are accused of taking bribes to prevent the world media from reporting the atrocities on migrant workers (majority from India) while developing infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The names of 2 other organizations have also been discussed in this, International Labor Organization (ILO Geneva) and International Labor Union (IFTU).

Tag: Bribery, Fifa World Cup 2022, Qatar

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