Published On: Sat, Nov 17th, 2012

Still waiting on “Bientu” case

WILLEMSTAD - The Dutch morning newspaper Antilliaansdagblad reports that the Investigation Cooperation Team (RST) completed the investigation of the case Bientu in early August. Although the Public Prosecutor (OM) has already stated that the case is almost ready to be treated, it is still three months since the investigations were finished and still no hearing in court.

“It’s a mega case. We are working hard on it, but it's not finished yet.” Norman Serphos, spokesman of the Public Prosecution explains. Wim van Vemden of the RST confirms request made by the OM for additional information,  which is currently delivered. Serphos cannot give more details on the case. An officer has been assigned to this case and there is also assistance from the Netherlands in this “mega case”. The case, which opened in 2008, revolves around lottery boss Robbie dos Santos. he is suspected of money laundering, forgery and tax fraud.

In the framework of the research is on July 12, 2011 a search conducted on five addresses in Curaçao and three in St. Maarten, according to Antilliaansdagblad. Dos Santos currently resides abroad. A month later his bank accounts at the UBS Bank in Miami in the United States were seized.  These funds, an estimated $ 46 million, come from foreign companies established by Dos Santos in the British Virgin Islands. The federal judge in the U.S. granted the request made by Attorney General (PG) Dick Piar.

Former Minister of Finance, Dos Santos’ half brother, George Jamaloodin was also investigated. He is also a suspect in the case. Although Wim Vemden confirms that there are several suspects in the case, he will not comment on Jamaloodin being a suspect. In October 2011, Robbie dos Santos returned to Curacao and was detained and interrogated for six hours, afterwards he was released. After his bank accounts were seized, Dos Santos filed a case against the OM to lift the seizure on his accounts but to no avail. The seizure will remain valid until the criminal investigation is finished.

The former Minister of Justice Elmer Wilsoe (PS) then proceeds to interfere with the case. Unbeknownst to the Attorney General Wilsoe requests in a letter to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to lift the seizure on Dos Santos’ bank accounts. In early May there follows a memo from the Wilsoe to parliament. Wilsoe wants cessation of the investigation, which according to him, is illegal. In the same memo Wilsoe expressed that he has no more confidence in the Attoreny General Dick Piar. The Council of Ministers strongly condemns Wilsoe’s actions. During the meeting of the four Ministers of Justice in the Dutch Kingdom, the Dutch Minister of Justice Ivo Opstelten reprimands Wilsoe for his mingling with the case. The Minister of Kingdom Relations of the time, Liesbeth Spies, met with the then Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte and Wilsoe on this issue but to no avail.

Finally, the letter to the United States is withdrawn and Piar stays as Attorney General. The criminal investigation Bientu is still going on. It is unclear just when the investigation is completed and the court hearings can begin.

Source: Antilliaans Dagblad

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