Belgium is investigating suspicions of corruption within the European Parliament linked to a country in the Gulf region

(CNN) — Belgium’s attorney general has provided an update on the investigation into a suspected corruption case involving people “active in the European Parliament.”

In a press release Sunday, the public prosecutor said six people were arrested on Friday, “as part of a major investigation by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Police into alleged criminal organization, corruption and money laundering.”

The statement added: “It is suspected that third parties in political or strategic positions within the European Parliament have been paid large sums of money or received large gifts to influence the decisions of Parliament.”

Four of the six were arrested by the Brussels investigating judge leading the investigation, the press release said, and two of them have now been released.

The prosecutor said the home of a second MEP was searched on Saturday evening.

Earlier Friday, Greek Vice President Eva Kaili was expelled by her political party in Greece, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), amid an investigation into corruption in the European Parliament by a Gulf country.

PASOK, one of Greece’s main opposition parties, said in a statement on Friday: “Following the recent developments and the investigation by the Belgian authorities into corruption of European officials, MP Eva Kaili of Change Movement PASOK was expelled by the decision of President Nikos Androulakis.”

In addition, Kayley’s political group within the European Parliament, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, announced their “decision to suspend MEP Eva Kayley from the coalition with immediate effect, in response to the ongoing investigations”.

This comes at a time when the Belgian Federal Prosecutor confirmed to the Belgian public service station RTBF, on Friday, that one of the Parliament’s 14 deputy speakers had been questioned as part of an investigation into corruption in the European Parliament, by a country from the Gulf region.

Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all surround the Gulf.

In a statement, the public prosecutor said that Belgian Federal Police inspectors had for two years “suspected that a country from the Gulf…has an influence on the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament,” according to RTBF.

Belgian police suspect that the country transferred “important sums of money” or “significant gifts” to important actors within the European Parliament, according to the RTBF.

The federal prosecutor did not name the vice president, but said he was one of four individuals taken into custody for questioning. “Among those arrested is an elderly European parliamentarian,” the public prosecutor said.

Searches conducted as part of the investigation resulted in the seizure of nearly 600,000 euros in cash, according to the RTBF. Computer materials and phones were also seized as part of the 16 searches conducted in the Belgian regions of Ixelles, Schaerbeek, Kreinem, Forest and Brussels, according to the RTBF.

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