BRUSSELS (AP) - Police launched 16 raids across Belgium's capital Friday as part of a probe into corruption and money laundering involving the European Union parliament and an unidentified Gulf country, the federal prosecutor's office said.
Four people were detained for questioning, and investigators recovered around 600,000 euros ($633,500) in cash and seized computer equipment and mobile telephones during the Brussels raids, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The statement did not name the four but said one was a former member of the European Parliament.
The raids targeted in particular assistants working for EU lawmakers, the statement said. The EU assembly has 705 elected members from the bloc's 27 member nations. Each lawmaker has a number of assistants.
Prosecutors said Belgium's federal judicial police suspect the unidentified Gulf country of trying "to influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament."
It said this was allegedly done "by paying large sums of money or offering large gifts to third parties with a significant political and/or strategic position within the European Parliament."
The EU parliament's press service declined to comment on the raids while an investigation was underway, but said the assembly was cooperating fully with Belgian police.