URENCO whistleblower Frits Veerman died unexpectedly in his hometown of Huizen on Tuesday at the age of 76,




He was known as a whistleblower in a notorious espionage case at the uranium enrichment factory URENCO in Almelo that took place in the early 1970s.

Years later, partly thanks to the stolen information, Pakistan was able to make an atomic bomb.

Veerman raised more than forty years ago that a Pakistani colleague may have stolen nuclear secrets.

The technician warned the company and the Dutch government, but instead of receiving recognition, he was reviled.

Veerman fought for rehabilitation for 45 years.

In the end, that only came about last year.

The Whistleblowers Authority concluded in July that the report was justified and that "it is plausible" that the whistleblower himself was subsequently disadvantaged by his employer.

Because of this aftermath, Veerman announced a million-dollar claim against the State.

Nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan became a national hero in his own country.

He admitted years later that he passed the nuclear knowledge on to North Korea, Iran and Libya at the request of his government.

Veerman had to keep quiet

The House of Whistleblowers concluded last year that Veerman at the time correctly and correctly reported several times of possible theft.

He did this not only at URENCO, but also at the secret services.

Veerman says he had to, because he had to guard state secrets.

He got on well with Khan - "a really nice man" - and so didn't happen overnight, but the company did nothing with the reports.

After Khan failed to return after a holiday in Pakistan, his suspicions about the espionage turned out to be correct.

To his surprise, however, Veerman was tackled himself.

An investigation into Khan did not come until around 1980 at the request of the Lower House.

It ended up dead in court.

The technician had to do different, simple work and was fired a few years later.

He was detained in the Bijlmer prison for two days, where numerous officials and police officers told him that he had interfered too much with the situation and that he should keep his mouth shut about it.

In the United States, he said he was interrogated by the FBI.

He barely got a job and when he did a job, the security service watched, Veerman said.

State secrets fell into the wrong hands

Veerman said last year that he has always been concerned about the theft, especially because in his eyes it was made possible by the government and others who were working on this nuclear technology.

The fact that Dutch state secrets fell into the wrong hands and that this had a major impact on the rest of the world bothered him the most.

"The fact that the Netherlands allowed this, which country does that? It made me anxious", he said at the age of 75.

For Veerman it was established that the Netherlands was in violation of the non-proliferation treaty.

This means that countries do not spread nuclear weapons.

"Take a look at international society. In Iran, centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium, of Dutch origin, believe me."