Published On: Tue, Dec 6th, 2016

Suspect in Emerald-investigation remains in custody

Courthouse-sxmPHILLIPSBURG - The suspect O.A. (35) in the Emerald-investigation remains in pre-trial detention. The judge of instruction decided this on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 in Curaçao. O.A. was arrested on Monday, November 28, 2016. He is suspected of money laundering, forgery, tax fraud and illegal firearm possession. On November 28, the investigation codenamed Emerald started on Sint Maarten. The special anti-corruption taskforce TBO of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team RST, together with the National Detectives Agency St. Maarten and under the supervision of an investigative judge searched a total of seven (7) premises, including the house of the suspect, the offices of the port authority of Sint Maarten and at a security company.

During the searches documents, digital data carriers and a firearm were confiscated. In addition to the searches five cars and a number of bank accounts, a yacht and the suspect’s house were seized. The authorities on Anguilla, based on a request of Dutch St. Maarten authorities also seized property and bank accounts of the suspect on Anguilla.

The investigation is still ongoing and possible new arrests and/or searches cannot be excluded.

The Emerald-investigation started in April 2016, following reports in the newspapers and questions asked in Parliament about the contract signed between the suspect’s security company the port authority of St. Maarten. During this investigation suspicions arose about tax fraud, forgery and money laundering.

The investigation is part of a joint intensified fight against international fraud and corruption. Corruption and money laundering threatens the security and economy of the countries in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom. The special anti-corruption taskforce, TBO of the RST, together with the National Detectives Agencies (Landsrecherches) of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and the Prosecutor’s Office have joined forces to combat corruption. Orders to recover proceeds of crime fit in within the new policy of the Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor’s Office will be submitting more of such claims.

 

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