Authorities in Belgium raid Church of Scientology

According to reports, authorities in Belgium have seized documents, financial records and computer equipment form the local branch of the Church of Scientology (Church) and then sealed off the building.

The reports state that the Church in Belgium is being investigated for extortion and fraud for allegedly posting false job openings in newspapers and then attempting to get those who applied to join the Church. Several ex-members of the Church reportedly approached authorities with accusations of intimidation and extortion.

News about the raid on Scientology

Police in Belgium have been investigating the Church for nearly ten years prior to this raid.

In a statement to the press, the Church says that the police “violated their fundamental rights” as a religious organization and accused the police of “malicious justice operations.” The Church plans to contest any charges filed against it. They also state that the postings were requests for volunteers and not employees.

So far no arrests have been made, but some employees of the Church were detained and questioned by police.

The building remains closed as of this writing.

• Made available by Wikinews under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
Original article

See Also:
Scientologists risks criminal charges after 10-year Belgian probe (Sep. 4, 2007
Scientologists face medical, privacy charges (Sep. 4, 2007)
Belgium builds case against Scientology (Nov. 4, 2007)

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday April 12, 2008.
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