Author

Siem Eikelenboom

articles
11
2022

Drones and concrete to withstand bullets: collaboration with ‘ordinary’ Chinese universities also poses risks

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Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij, Heleen Emanuel, Mira Sys & Siem Eikelenboom

Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij, Heleen Emanuel, Mira Sys & Siem Eikelenboom

Collaboration between Dutch universities and the Chinese armed forces is not limited to military universities. Over the past seven years, several hundred studies were conducted in collaboration with civilian Chinese universities as well, that in turn work for the military.

China sends selected military researchers to the Netherlands to gather sensitive knowledge

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Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij, Heleen Emanuel, Mira Sys & Siem Eikelenboom

Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij, Heleen Emanuel, Mira Sys & Siem Eikelenboom

In recent years, over 90 military scientists from China have gathered knowledge at Dutch universities and knowledge institutions. They conducted research into militarily sensitive technologies, such as hypersonic aircraft and reinforced concrete. This is the conclusion of research done by Follow the Money and RTL Nieuws, as part of the China Science Investigation. The Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service calls the situation 'worrying'.

European universities are helping China to build the world’s most modern army

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Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij, Heleen Emanuel, Mira Sys & Siem Eikelenboom

Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij, Heleen Emanuel, Mira Sys & Siem Eikelenboom

China wants to build the most powerful army in the world. They appear to be succeeding – thanks to European scientists, who are sharing militarily sensitive knowledge with the Chinese army on a large scale. This is the conclusion of research done by Follow the Money and ten other media outlets from seven different countries. Nearly three hundred of such sensitive studies were conducted in the Netherlands. ‘Vital knowledge has already leaked. We're fighting a rearguard action.’

2021

Dutch research institutes helped the Chinese police state

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Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij & Siem Eikelenboom

Annebelle de Bruijn, Dorine Booij & Siem Eikelenboom

According to research conducted by Follow the Money and RTL Nieuws, three leading Dutch laboratories, including the Erasmus Medical Centre, have collaborated with Chinese scientists in recent years to develop sensitive DNA techniques. Experts believe that this knowledge can be used to control minorities and political opponents. Today, Dutch parliamentarians reacted with shock: ‘If the universities themselves do not see the problem, the Minister should perhaps take action.’

Dutch company sells China DNA kits for ethnic cleansing

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Dorine Booij & Siem Eikelenboom

Dorine Booij & Siem Eikelenboom

For years now, researchers of the Chinese police have been using products of Qiagen, a biotech company based in the Netherlands, in controversial studies involving the DNA of Uyghurs and Tibetans. This became apparent from an investigation by Follow the Money. Qiagen denies any knowledge of misuse, but did apply for a certificate so that the Chinese police could use their products.

Controversial studies of Erasmus MC researcher into Uyghur DNA retracted

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Annebelle de Bruijn & Siem Eikelenboom

Annebelle de Bruijn & Siem Eikelenboom

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

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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.