Published On: Mon, Jan 14th, 2013

Corallo demands rectification on having ties with the mafia

THE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – The Italian businessman Francesco Corallo wants the Netherlands to distance itself from allegations that he has ties with the Sicilian mafia. In summary proceedings scheduled this Wednesday at the courthouse of The Hague, he demands rectification from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The request from former premier Gerrit Schotte for information on Corallo suggested the latter had ties with the mafia. Schotte had supposedly wanted to give the Italian businessman an important post and requested the Italian minister of the Interior to provide a certificate of good character. That request had led to considerable unrest and questions in the Lower Chamber because Interpol had issued an international tracing order for Corallo in May 2012 on account of alleged involvement with organized crime and fraud.

On October 11th 2012 the then minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Liesbeth Spies, stated the Italian ministry of the Interior informed the Dutch embassy in Rome orally that although Corallo was never convicted by a criminal judge there were still reasons not to give the certificate of good character. The embassy had sent a fax with similar import to the then premier Schotte, stating ‘the documents from both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contained nothing on aforementioned Mr. Corallo’.

In her statement Spies hadn’t mentioned the Sicilian mafia as apposed to the Dutch ambassador in Rome, Fons Stoelinga. “Police investigation regarding Francesco Corallo in the years 1995-1997 revealed that this person was involved with international drug trade and was an important person in the Sicilian mafia. After the arrest of his father, Francesco Corallo set up a tourist center in St. Maarten, which was used for money laundering. Both the Italian police and the Italian Intelligence Service confirmed this information”, Stoelinga wrote at the time. Also the Lower Chamber hadn’t avoided mentioning the Sicilian mafia during the debates on the issue.

Corallo demands that the kingdom of the Netherlands place a rectification in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, declaring the Netherlands distances itself from the allegations that he has ties with the Sicilian mafia. The Ministry of the Interior was not available for comment.

Corallo’s name was mentioned several times in connection with the government of former premier Schotte. Rudolf Baetsen, the account manager of Corallo, was recommended as candidate-member for the Board of Commissioners from the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten. Corallo is supposedly also a friend and business relation of Robbie dos Santos, one of the most important financers of the MFK and a half-brother of former Minister of Finance, George ‘Jorge’ Jamaloodin.

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