FD targets Central Bank Director Emsley Tromp
WILLEMSTAD – Following its report about insurance company Ennia last Friday, the Financieele Dagblad (FD) struck one more time last Saturday with a report that targets the president of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten, Dr. Emsley Tromp. According to the FD, the Central Bank takes large financial risks under Tromp’s direction. The FD also scrutinized Tromp’s private finances. Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem intends to inquire at the Dutch National Bank about the situation at Ennia and the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.
The FD reported Saturday that according to the International Monetary Fund the Central Bank loaned several years ago unusual large amounts of money to the port company in St. Maarten and to utilities company Aqualectra in Curacao. According to members of the bank’s supervisory board who initiated a lawsuit against the bank’s management, these loans were unlawful because the Central Bank is only allowed to loan money to banks and not to companies.
Tromp’s private finances also set off alarm bells at the FD. The newspaper reports the purchase of two apartments in Miami for $1.9 million; later these apartments were sold for $100 each to Asia Condominium LLC; Tromp is the director of this entity.
Central Bank Director Jarreld Hasselmeyer says that an external accountant has investigated the purchase of the two apartments. The accountant did not find anything that could be qualified as illegal or improper, Hasselmeyer told the FD.
Ennia’s chief financial officer Ryan Breedijk told a local newspaper that intercompany loans are no longer permitted and that the insurance company has to let go of the bonds it granted to Stewart & Stevenson, a manufacturer of specialized equipment for the oil and gas industry. “The assets have to go back to Ennia Life and the loan must be paid off. Then not 77 percent of the reserves is an intercompany loan, but 40 percent.”
Socialist Party MOP Ronald van Raak added some fuel to the fire by telling the FD that the alleged situation at Ennia is “typical for the financial world in Curacao. “Dubious financial constructions with hardly any supervision and a lot of fiddling by rich foreigners.”
Van Raak also suggested that the Dutch National Bank ought to take over the function of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.
Curacao’s former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte claimed in a statement to a local Dutch newspaper that he had known “for years” about the alleged situation at Ennia. “There is no supervision at all in Curacao when the friends of Tromp are involved,” he said.
The Dutch National Bank only supervises financial institutions in Bonaire, Saba and Statia, but it is authorized to ask for information at the headquarters of institutions that have branch offices on these islands. The bank’s report ‘State of supervision 2015’ notes that it obtained broader supervisory authority from the finance ministry, something the bank had asked for “because of the increasing concerns about the working and the integrity of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.”