Refugees live in marquees like this. Photo:

The Purmerend Council has launched an investigation into “potential abuse” at an emergency refugee shelter near an industrial park on the outskirts of town.

The inquiry follows inquiries by local newspaper Noordhollands Dagblad, which is investigating reports of discrimination, abuse of power, intimidation and corruption at the center, which opened on 5 October.

The newspaper has yet to publish its report, but the questions and issues raised were so disturbing that it urged mayor Ellen Van Serm to look into the situation for herself.

“We expect this information to have significant implications for society, staff, municipalities and parliament,” the official said in a letter to lawmakers.

The allegations have not been made public, but the NHD has previously published two reports of problems with the site. Especially after heavy rains, the tent was known to leak at least twice, and online video footage shows water dripping from power lines.

About 225 people have lived in several large marquees since the beginning of this month.

The emergency accommodation will remain in use for three months and will be used to accommodate both adults and children, the council previously said.

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