Author

Siem Eikelenboom

articles
6
2021

Controversial studies of Erasmus MC researcher into Uyghur DNA retracted

1
Siem Eikelenboom & Annebelle de Bruijn

Siem Eikelenboom & Annebelle de Bruijn

An investigation by Follow the Money has revealed that two scientific journals have retracted publications by a Chinese researcher at the Erasmus Medical Centre. He could not sufficiently demonstrate that Uyghurs, a persecuted minority in China, had consented to their DNA being collected. ‘Retraction of a scientific article on ethical grounds is extremely rare.’

Half of the Netherlands’ biggest pension funds invest in Chinese repression

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Casper Rouffaer, Siem Eikelenboom & Tom Claessens

Casper Rouffaer, Siem Eikelenboom & Tom Claessens

China’s burgeoning economy has long made it popular with foreign investors, including pension funds. At the end of 2020 two funds, ABP and Pensioenfonds Zorg & Welzijn, had over €31 billion invested in China. But reports of serious human rights abuses in Xinjiang province have posed a dilemma: should the funds focus on their profits, or their reputations? FTM investigated what the Netherlands’ 24 biggest funds are doing in China.

China moves to centre stage

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Siem Eikelenboom

Siem Eikelenboom

China is on a roll: it’s only a matter of time before it overtakes the United States and becomes the world’s biggest economy. Chinese companies are spreading their wings and are increasingly active in Europe. The country is going all out to get its hands on valuable technology, and plans to be an independent technological superpower by 2025.

2020

In the crosshairs of tax and investigation services: Dutch CumEx trader Frank Vogel

3
Eric Smit & Siem Eikelenboom

Eric Smit & Siem Eikelenboom

The tax authorities of several countries are chasing Frank Vogel, the Dutch king of the CumEx trade. Claims ranging in the millions of euros are awaiting him in Belgium and Denmark. In Germany, he is a suspect in at least one criminal investigation. A reconstruction of the tumultuous career of a notorious dividend stripper.

2019

Already in 2005, the FIOD detected worldwide billion-dollar fraud with dividend tax

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Eric Smit & Siem Eikelenboom

Eric Smit & Siem Eikelenboom

At the end of 2005, the FIOD - the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service - was well aware that a Fortis division was engaged in dividend stripping. This type of trade with dividend has seriously disadvantaged tax authorities in a number of countries; the damage amounts to billions of euros. However, the FIOD did not share this information with sister services abroad, which therefore remained ignorant of the fact that their systems were susceptible to this type of fraud as well. It was not until 2013 that the CumEx scandal broke out in Germany.

2018

As a state bank, ABN Amro was involved in international dividend tax fraud

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Eric Smit & Siem Eikelenboom

Eric Smit & Siem Eikelenboom

Few banks committed the CumEx fraud as fanatically as state bank ABN Amro did. Since 2006, the Ministry of Finance had detailed knowledge of this. However, even after the Ministry became the owner of ABN Amro in 2008, the bank knowingly remained involved in transactions that seriously affected tax authorities. The Ministry did not share the knowledge of this fraud with the Minister and did not interfere with the CumEx trading.