Frits van Eerd is the owner and managing director of Jumbo, a large Dutch supermarket chain. Jumbo appears as a sponsor in many ways, including Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen. His environment must now take a stand because van Eerd is temporarily arrested.
Jumbo is not only one of the largest supermarket chains in the Netherlands, but also very active and present as a sponsor in top-class sport. Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France in the jersey of Team Jumbo-Visma in July and the speed skating team of the same name also boasts big names. Sven Kramer is proudly presented on the website, four-time Olympic champion and 23-time world champion, one of the most successful athletes ever. Max Verstappen is also supported by Jumbo, while he is inexorably driving towards his second world title in Formula 1. And now has to comment on money laundering allegations.
However, this suspicion does not rest on the Dutch driver, but on Frits van Eerd, the manager and owner of the supermarket chain. As several media reports unanimously, van Eerd was temporarily taken into custody last week in the course of investigations into possible money laundering. As "NOS" reports, several searches were carried out during a raid. Also for van Eerd, who also drives races himself and has contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans several times - with prominent teammates such as Rubens Barrichello, Giedo van der Garde and Nyck de Vries.
However, because sponsorship contracts also seem to be the focus of the investigating authorities, the incidents also concerned those around Max Verstappen. Raymond Vermeulen is quoted as saying that they should wait there "for the facts to come to light". He manages the 24-year-old world champion together with Jos Verstappen. In the "Algemeen Dagblad" he also emphasizes that "caution is required", also with a view to "all possible hints". One is "in contact with Jumbo", the cooperation will "continue as usual". Especially since "the supermarket is not part of the investigation": "That was clearly said."
A cautious distancing to the effect that Verstappen has a business relationship with Jumbo, but apparently not with van Eerd. The "Financieele Dagblad" reports that the supermarket chain's headquarters were also searched. Meanwhile, Jumbo explained that van Eerd was questioned as part of the investigation and that "the day-to-day business was ensured by the management team". The judicial authorities at "NOS" say that the nine provisionally arrested are involved in the alleged fraud to varying degrees.
"We will handle the situation appropriately," Jumbo said in a statement. According to "NOS", van Eerd was released from custody after a few days, while the main suspect remains in custody. This is a 58-year-old man. "Frits is back with his family," the Jumbo message continued, and more information should follow soon: "It's a difficult phase for all of us."