Belgium — Bpost CEO Investigated by FBI

“According to the most recent report of  the Council of Europe anti-corruption group, Belgium is close to the bottom of the class in terms of preventing corruption among legislators, judges and prosecutors. An Ernst & Young 2019 study indicates that the level of corruption in Belgium has doubled in the last 6 years. Among the countries investigated, only Ukraine and Kenya are doing worse. The level of corruption in Belgium appears to be about twice higher than the European average.”

Intel Today (February 16 2020)

Bpost CEO Jean-Paul Van Avermaet

September 25 2020 — The CEO of Bpost — Jean-Paul Van Avermaet — is investigated by the US Justice Department for his role in an affair of price-fixing related to the private security sector. Mr Van Avermaet can no longer travel to the US as he would certainly be arrested and questioned by the FBI. This is a serious problem as Bpost’s biggest subsidiary, e-commerce provider Radial, is based in Pennsylvania. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Bpost is the Belgian company responsible for the delivery of national and international mail. The Belgian State owns 50.01% of the shares.

Mr. Van Avermaet was appointed CEO of the Bpost group in February 2020. He holds a Masters in Commercial Engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) and an MBA from Vlerick Business School.

Before joining Bpost, Mr. Van Avermaet was Cluster Managing Director of G4S — a private security company — for Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Morocco. He was member of the G4S European Executive Team.

G4S, Securitas and Seris have conspired to fix prices and shut down competition.

Some of the contracts illegally attributed to this cartel include the security of the US Embassy in Brussels, and the Shape command centre for NATO in Mons.

G4S has admitted its guilt. Securitas and Seris are cooperating with the investigation.

Although Mr Van Avermaet claims to be innocent, the FBI appears to have WhatsApp messages that provide incontrovertible evidence of his guilt.

This week, we learned that Henri de Romrée, the head of the American subsidiary Radial, has announced his resignation two weeks ago because he disagrees with the way Jean-Paul Van Avermaet runs the company.

Let us hope that Mr. Van Avermaet is not running Radial the way he ran G4S. In any case, I will make a safe prediction.

FBI financial experts are certainly combing through the data files of the American subsidiary. Well, it is never too early to panic. But sometimes, it is really too late to quit…

Stay tuned!

UPDATE (September 26 2020) — The share of Bpost went down 14,96% over the last week. Belgian financial newspaper L’Echo believes that the resignation of Henri de Romrée has prompted many investors to sell. Indeed, more bad news might be coming. At the very least, Bpost needs a new CEO. The sooner, the better.

REFERENCES

BPost — Wikipedia

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Belgium — BPost CEO investigated by the FBI

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