Greek MEP and the VP of European Parliament has been detained
Greek MEP Eva Kaili has been detained along with four others. An unidentified Gulf state allegedly targeted officials "with a significant political and/or strategic position" to influence the EU Parliament.
Belgian polices have arrested Greek socialist Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Eva Kaili, one of the 14 European Parliament vice-presidents, in connection with an investigation into criminal organization, corruption, and money laundering that involves an unidentified Gulf state.
Four others were also detained, including a former MEP, authorities said on Friday.
The Belgian federal prosecutor's office accused the unidentified Gulf country of trying "to influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament.''
Gulf countries are illegally lobbying at EU Parliament
Authorities believe the Gulf country tried to sway the European Parliament by "paying large sums of money or offering large gifts to third parties with a significant political and/or strategic position within the European Parliament."
Prosecutors did not name the country involved but Belgian publications Le Soir and Knack citing "several well-informed sources" reported Qatari officials were involved in trying to corrupt a former Italian MEP from the Socialists and Democrats group.
Investigators raided 16 addresses in Brussels as part of the investigation.
They recovered around €600,000 ($633,500) in cash and seized computer equipment and mobile phones.
A spokesperson for the European Parliament would not comment while an investigation was underway, but said the assembly was cooperating fully with police.