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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Vonovia: Offices searched on suspicion of corruption

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The real estate group Vonovia was the target of a raid by the public prosecutor’s office in Bochum and the LKA North Rhine-Westphalia. Several employees are said to have accepted money or benefits in kind when the contract was awarded.

Raid on Germany’s largest real estate group: Due to suspicion of corruption, the public prosecutor’s office in Bochum and the State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia searched the offices of the Bochum-based company Vonovia. A company spokeswoman confirmed this on Tuesday. According to the public prosecutor, several employees of the group and other parties involved are being investigated on suspicion of bribery and bribery, breach of trust and fraud. In addition to the Bochum housing giant, a competitor based in southern Germany was also damaged. The “Westdeutscher Rundfunk” and the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” had previously reported on it.

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“Today, the investigative authorities looked at our documents because Vonovia apparently suspected problematic processes in the awarding of contracts to subcontractors,” said a Vonovia spokeswoman. As the injured party, the group cooperates fully with the authorities and grants them access to the necessary documents. “We are very interested in a quick and comprehensive clarification of the allegations,” emphasized the spokeswoman. According to initial information, only financial damage was caused, the company emphasized. People were not harmed, and there was no damage to buildings either.

Vonovia employees suspected of corruption

According to the previous investigations by the public prosecutor’s office, employees had given preference to certain companies working for the housing company when awarding the contract and received money or benefits in return in return. Lists of services are said to have been manipulated in order to enable the commissioned companies to bill for services that have not actually been rendered. The accused are said to have divided the money obtained by fraud among themselves. The investigators did not provide any information on the extent of the damage.

After a suspect moved to a southern German housing company, the parties involved are said to have made anti-competitive agreements in tenders there in order to achieve the award of the contract to a specific company. There, too, excessive billings are said to have subsequently occurred.

Searches in four states

In total, more than 40 private and business premises were searched on Tuesday as part of the investigations in North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Saxony, and four arrest warrants were executed, the public prosecutor reported.

Source: Stern

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