Belgium’s Financial Intelligence Processing Unit, CTIF, identified large cash withdrawals by Qatari embassy staff in Brussels between 2020 and 2022.
In December 2022, in the wake of the arrests and questionings to what became known as “Qatargate”, the CTIF denounced to Belgian authorities a pattern of large cash withdrawals in the preceding years, Le Soir reports.
Between January 2020 and December 2021, 252,815 euro in cash had been taken out from a KBC account held by the Qatari embassy. Another account had 49,545 euro in cash withdrawn during the same period.
Some days, cash withdrawals of 10,000 euros were made.
During the following year, 2022, the first of these accounts had cash withdrawals totalling 124,734 euros.
The anti-money laundering unit is suspicious, to say the least: “Given the suspicions of corruption visibly involving Qatar, it is likely that at least some of the cash withdrawals made from the various accounts were used for this purpose,” it notes in one of the denunciations sent to the public prosecutor’s office.
Contacted by Le Soir, the Qatari embassy in Brussels did not respond.