Photo: Boumediene Belbachir
The Limburg Prosecutor’s Office is opening an investigation into possible wrongdoing in the companies surrounding Pukkelpop organizer Shukri Mahasin. The reason is an article from the satirical website t Scheldt in which he talks about embezzlement and conflicts of interest.
Did the organizer of Pukkelpop, Chokri Mahasin, inject a financial reserve of several million euros that was intended for social causes into his own company? Is there a conflict of interest between the different companies behind the festival? satirical site shieldt He claims it anyway. In an extensive article that appeared last weekend, I described how the festival evolved from a non-profit organization into a network of companies, where the money would have ended up in the wrong place.
shieldt It does not have a good reputation as a news medium. There were already several legal complaints, forcing the removal of defamatory material. However, this is reason enough for the public prosecutor in Limburg to open an investigation into Pukkelpop. “The Limburg Prosecutor’s Office has requested the Limburg Federal Judicial Police to conduct an investigation to determine whether any irregularities have occurred as mentioned in the article,” said public prosecutor spokesman Peter Straven. “In the meantime, the presumption of innocence applies to all persons and organizations involved,” he asserts.
The most concrete accusation in the article relates to The Factory, the organization with which Pukkelpop’s beauties are organized. It started as a non-profit association, but has since transformed into a private limited company – an ordinary trading company. In the decades preceding this transformation, the plant had built up a financial reserve of 7.7 million euros. This amount can only be spent on social issues, precisely because it was created in the period when the factory was not yet a profit-objective enterprise. Despite this limitation, “unavailable reserves” have fallen to 3.99 million euros, or 3.7 million euros less, according to the latest annual report.
Whether this amount actually went for social reasons, as established by law, is not mentioned in the annual accounts. shieldt She thinks she knows the money was used to cover the loss of the Pukkelpop 2020 release which was canceled due to Corona.
Another accusation in the article is that the plant is associated with Que Pasa? It is a company registered in the name of Mahasin’s wife. This is the festival resource but shieldt She questions the cash flows between the two companies and hints at a conflict of interest here.
It is now up to the judicial police to verify the extent to which the irregularities actually occurred. If so, it could lead to a judicial investigation.
Shukri Mahasin herself is vacationing abroad. His reaction was surprised by the investigation. “I haven’t been informed yet, I am now waiting for the investigation first to hear exactly what it is about,” he says. “In recent years, we have had to professionalize, which is why specialists have structurally tuned our organization. I have complete confidence in their professional approach.”
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