Investigator questions municipalities viewpoint

'Profound investigations required'

Eindhoven Dagblad Online/June 27, 2002
By Han Gommeren

The best would be to abolish Humana in the Netherlands, but in any case a profound investigation is required about what the certified charitable institution does with the millions gained from donated clothes in more than hundred Dutch municipalities, among others Eindhoven and Nuenen. The question is whether the millions are for the benefit of the Third World, as Humana says, or for the enrichment of the Danish mother organization Tvind.

An investigator in development matters, P. Hoebink from the University Nijmegen, has studied the working mode of such clothes collections. Hoebink has also been a member of a commmission, which published last year, a report about the finanes of Foster Parents.

Hoebink mentiones four reasons why he doubts the integrity of Humana, the largest cloth collector in the Netherlands. To begin with, he points to the accusations of embezzlement and tax fraud against the cult-like mother organisation in Denmark and the arrest of the Tvind-leader Amdi Petersen in February of this year in the USA.

"In addition," Hoebink says, "I have never seen a development organisation, which had been involved in such a way in foundations, schools and enterprises with accounts in tax sheltered places. Further, the annual report of Humana is vague, with respect to the use of money, which Humana earns by selling contributed clothes. And then, there is an export ban placed on Humana because of their illegal export of unsorted textile, which is regarded as waste by the European Union. I do not understand that municipalities in the Netherlands still deal with such a group. It would be good for Humana to disappear from the Netherlands, as it has done from other European countries."

The doubts of Hoebink are further fostered by the contents of secret Humana documents kept by the newspaper. They tell how every year hundreds of millions of dollars were channeled from the Netherlands via the sister organisation in Angola to Denmark and declared as a "loan," without deducting tax in any of the concerned countries. Hoebink said, "According to these documents, there is a plan to circulate the money in such a way that it finally arrives in Denmark. This has been arranged. While creating the impression in the Netherlands that it is a development aid."

A Dane Britta Junge, worked 15 years for Humana in Angola. She said that during her time with the organization 70% of the income from selling clothes in Europe, remained within the cult. According to her, the documents prove this.

Hoebink has plead for a judicial investigation of Humana and Tvind enterprises established in the Netherlands, which export clothes for all European Humana places of business. Hoebink said, "The courts shall first make contact with their colleages in Denmark." According to the investigator, it is "very necessary" that the Department for Development Cooperation has an investigation about what Humana does with money in Africa.

The Centraal Bureau Fondsenwerving (CBF), having provided a mark of quality for Humana, underlined the necessity for an investigation and announced that it will start one by oneself. "We find the contents of these documents very alarming," said the Bureau's Deputy Director L. van Deth. The quality mark means that Humana has to be regarded as a truthful charitable organisation. He added that "The CBF is a toothless organisation, but the the quality mark...attests that the books are ok."

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