On April 21, Trevor Kitchen, who blew the whistle on currency manipulation in 2011, was detained by Military Police at Schiphol Airport. Whistleblower advocacy group the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) put out a statement on April 27 condemning his detention and urging Dutch authorities to immediately release Kitchen.
According to his Whistleblower of the Week profile, Kitchen noticed something was awry when in early 2011, he noticed that his pension of 700,000 Swiss francs had lost all of its value. He discovered “a massive manipulation” of the U.S. dollar and the British pound sterling. He blew the whistle in August of 2011 when he raised his concerns about the currency manipulation to “several financial oversight agencies in the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, and the European Union.”
After a lack of response to the concerns he raised, Kitchen went to the media, and in June of 2013, a Bloomberg article “reported on currency dealers that had been front-running client orders and rigging the foreign exchange benchmark rates by colluding with counterparts and pushing trades through before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmark rates are set,” the Whistleblower of the Week feature states. In 2014, Kitchen filed his whistleblower information with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
However, Kitchen has been pursued by Switzerland: there was a European arrest warrant out for him that accused him of “crimes against personal honor, violation of privacy and threats,” WNN reporting states. Kitchen was arrested on January 19, 2021, and spent 48 hours behind bars. On April 5, three judges in Lisbon “threw out the Swiss case, and rejected the extradition,” which was a request for Kitchen to be extradited to Switzerland.
On June 9, 2021, the 3rd Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice in Portugal ruled against a request from Switzerland to extradite Kitchen. According to prior WNN reporting, the ruling went “against the wishes of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which sought Kitchen’s extradition to Switzerland to face charges of defamation.” The June 9 ruling by the Court of Appeals upheld a lower decision. Since then, Kitchen and his wife remained in Portugal until his detention at the Schiphol Airport on Thursday, April 21, 2022, as confirmed by his lawyer.
“Privacy related allegations, such as defamation, are frequently used as a form of retaliation against whistleblowers and have a major chilling effect. Law enforcement must be discerning about the use of these laws against whistleblowers, and abstain from taking action against whistleblowers when these allegations are made in the context of whistleblower retaliation,” NWC’s statement reads. The organization calls on Dutch authorities to immediately release Kitchen and points to Europe’s lack of whistleblower laws as detrimental. “Whistleblowers should be rewarded, not legally attacked or detained,” the statement reads.