An employee of the embassy of Eritrea has to stop his work by Minister Blok of Foreign Affairs. The man, posing as consul, put Eritreans in the Netherlands under pressure to give money.
Radio program Argos reported on Saturday that the Eritrean representation raised money from fellow countrymen to help the East African country through the corona crisis. People stated that they were being intimidated, including with the threat that family in Eritrea would not receive food coupons if they did not pay.
The ambassador of Eritrea has today been summoned to the Foreign Office to clarify things. There he was informed that the local employee has been declared “unacceptable”, which means that he is no longer allowed to work for the embassy. According to the ministry, the employee was more often involved in forcibly raising money.
From a list that Argos has in its hands , it appears that this time at least 155,000 euros has been collected. Some come from supporters of the military regime or organizations affiliated to the regime. But the list also includes people who have fled that regime.
Two years ago, the highest Eritrean diplomat, the Netherlands, was expelled because the regime forced Eritreans in the Netherlands to hand over taxes to Eritrea. Intimidation was not shunned, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Zijlstra wrote to the House of Representatives.
Eritrea is asking for money from fellow countrymen all over the world. This diaspora tax is not prohibited, provided it is collected without duress.