Published On: Thu, Oct 25th, 2018

Banking regulations being bypassed in Curaçao?

Court houseWILLEMSTAD - Once again Curaçao is the scene of a battle between two international companies. The case will be treated tomorrow in court.

It all started last year in August when the Brazilian construction company Andrade Gutierrez Engenharia (AGE) sued a bank for more than 2 million dollars. The Brazilian company requested the payment of several Certificates of Deposit (CD).

At the end of last year, the Court of First Instance of Curaçao sentenced the bank to pay the 2 million dollars plus costs and procedural expenses. The bank complied with the ruling and paid the construction company as was instructed by the Court of First Instance.

This year again, the Brazilian company is suing the same bank for certain payments they requested. The case is being treated by the Court of First Instance in Curaçao.

Several sources close to the case indicated that it is difficult for a bank to make these payments to the Brazilian construction company. There are several reasons why any bank cannot comply. But the main reason is the dubious reputation of the Brazilian company. According to several news sources, AGE is involved in cases of money laundering and corruption. The company even admitted that they are part of a cartel for building World Cup soccer stadiums in Brazil.

Once a company is involved in such cases and has even been convicted, it becomes difficult for any bank to comply with payment requests. Any international bank makes payments through a correspondent bank. These correspondent banks are tied to international regulations, also valid here in Curaçao, to prevent money laundering.

If AGE wants to transfer these funds to their bank account, this will have to go through a correspondent bank. The company will then have to go through a compliance process. It cannot happen through a court of justice.

It is worrisome to see how banking regulations are being bypassed. These laws are exactly to keep companies like the AGE from laundering money. The court of justice should follow these banking regulations and not order banks to pay corrupt companies like AGE.

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