AMSTERDAM Feb 13 Dutch authorities have
detained two former employees of nationalised bank and insurer
SNS Reaal on suspicion of bribery, fraud and money
laundering, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
The two, taken into police custody on Tuesday, include Buck
Groenhof, the former head of SNS property finance, two officials
Investigators searched the homes of the suspects, the second
of which is an unnamed woman who is also being questioned, a
statement issued by prosecutors on Wednesday said.
"SNS Reaal confirms that it has reported a crime with
prosecutors against a former board member of SNS property
finance. The reasons are preliminary results of an internal
investigation into possible conflict of interest," SNS Reaal
Another five employees at the bank were suspended as part of
an ongoing, internal investigation, said a bank official who
asked not to be named.
Groenhof and his attorney did not immediately respond to
emails and phone calls seeking comment. SNS Reaal declined to
give additional details.
The government nationalised SNS Reaal two weeks ago in a
10-billion-euro ($13.5 billion) rescue because of continuing
losses at the bank's property finance operations.
The chief executive and chief financial officer of the SNS
Reaal group both quit at the time and have been replaced with
Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem's decision to
nationalise SNS Reaal sparked a public outcry because of the
cost to taxpayers. Subordinated bondholders and shareholders
have said they will fight the nationalisation.
Last month, SNS Reaal said former clients of its property
finance arm were being investigated by the country's tax and
financial crimes agency, but gave no details.
SNS Reaal this week postponed the publication of its annual
results to April 18 from Feb. 14, citing the nationalisation.
Dijsselbloem said earlier this month he would look at
whether those responsible for the mismanagement of SNS Reaal
could be held accountable.
(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger and; Anthony Deutsch; Additional
reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford and