Published On: Wed, Apr 19th, 2017

Former Minister of Justice fears abuse of millions of Crime Fund

Ornelio A. Martina

Ornelio A. Martina

WILLEMSTAD - The Crime Fund Curaçao, which was established for projects in the areas of fighting crime, will soon be able to have extra large sums of money.

These include money that was seized from Robbie dos Santos, owner of Robbie's Lottery. Former Justice Minister Ornelio Martina is concerned that the extra money can be used for improper purposes.

“Before I resigned as Minister, I gave the Foundation Government Accountant Bureau (SOAB) a mandate to review all procedures of the Crime Fund and introduce a better system of checks and balances that could guarantee the proper use of confiscated money in case Bientu,” said the former Minister.

He fears that external pressure can be applied to staff working with the Crime Fund, to enable the financing of possible improper projects.

In the so-called case-Bientu against Dos Santos a total of 72.5 million guilders was seized. “The prosecution is currently conducting the procedures to get this money,” says Norman Serphos, spokesman for the Prosecutor. Some will remain in the US, another part goes to St. Maarten for the cooperation in the investigation of the case. The Crime Fund will also receive money from the sale of property confiscated by the so-called Afpakteam (Take Away Team).

Only projects which aim to combat crime are eligible for the use of the money from the Crime Fund says Serphos.

Source: Caribbean Network

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