Eva Kaili, a key figure in efforts to regulate crypto in Europe, has been arrested along with three others on charges of corruption.
Kaili, a vice president in the European Parliament, was arrested in Belgium over the weekend, Reuters and other media reports.
The arrests followed a search of 16 houses in Brussels by Belgian prosecutors on Friday, which resulted in the seizure of EUR600,000. Belgian prosecutors reportedly said they had suspected for months that a Gulf State had been trying to win influence in Europe. Reuters cited a source with knowledge of the case as saying the state was World Cup host Qatar.
Kaili was one of Europe’s most ardent supporters of crypto and blockchain technology and spoke at the AIBC Summit in Malta in 2018.
She has written extensively on the potential benefits of blockchain technology and its uses, ranging from improving the quality of energy grids to the management of supply chains. However, she was also pushing for legal certainty in the field.
More recently, she has been assessing a custom regime for non-fungible tokens, and has been working on a new report on the sector. She led the 2016 blockchain resolution in parliament and has been the driver of the DLT Pilot Regime.
A former broadcaster, Kaili is a Greek politician and member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D).
The party has suspended her and has said it will cooperate fully with investigating authorities.
“We are appalled by the allegations of corruption in the European institutions. The S&D Group has zero tolerance for corruption. We are the first to support a thorough investigation and full disclosure. We will fully cooperate with all investigating authorities. In this spirit, we will not publicly comment on ongoing judicial proceedings,” it said in a statement.
“Given the seriousness of the allegations, until the competent authorities provide relevant information and clarification, we are requesting the suspension of work on any files and plenary votes regarding the Gulf States, particularly visa liberalisation and planned visits.”