7 mar 2023 5:30 p.m
The real estate group Vonovia is suspected of corruption, bribery and tax evasion. Europe’s largest landlord has been searched by more than a dozen police officers since early Tuesday morning. Presumably, employees would have received bribes for the award of construction contracts.
As reported by the media, a police search has been taking place in the Bochum headquarters of Vonovia, Germany’s largest apartment owner, since early Tuesday morning. According to a report by the RND on Tuesday, the public prosecutor’s office is investigating suspicions of corruption. The allegation was that Vonovia employees allowed themselves to be bribed when awarding trades contracts.
The reputation of the largest European landlord is not the best, reported the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on the same day. Accordingly, the Dax group already has a referendum against it, which calls for the expropriation of Vonovia. The real estate group owns 490,000 apartments in Germany alone, which it had bought from competitors since it was founded in 2015, most recently the housing company Deutsche Wohnen from Berlin.
This size has made the group powerful both in the housing market and in the construction industry, wrote the SZ. More than a dozen investigators are currently involved in the search of the group’s headquarters. According to information from SZ and WDR, the investigators are pursuing indications of bribery, fraud and tax evasion. There is a suspicion that employees of the group have been lubricated by craft and construction companies for the award of contracts. A company spokeswoman confirmed the search of the company premises:
“Today, the investigative authorities looked at our documents because Vonovia is apparently suspected of potentially problematic awarding of contracts to subcontractors,” said the spokeswoman.
According to her statement, Vonovia is fully cooperating with the authorities. The group was ultimately harmed itself. The company is therefore “interested in a quick and comprehensive clarification of the allegations”.
More on the subject – Deutsche Wohnen, Vonovia & Co: Expropriation of housing groups legally possible