Published On: Mon, Sep 24th, 2018

No access to information money flows between the online gambling sector in Curaçao and the Netherlands

Tweede Kamer: Algemene Financiële BeschouwingenTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - The Dutch Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra gives no insight into money flows between the online gambling companies in Curaçao and the Netherlands. The minister, on the one hand, relies on his duty of confidentiality and, on the other hand, on not having information. This is apparent from Hoekstra's reaction to a WOB procedure (Public Access to Public Administration), conducted by the popular online news media Knipselkrant Curaçao.

In response to the demand for cash flows between the Dutch Antilles trust offices and accountancy / tax offices with an e-gaming license that have a relationship with banks and trust offices in the Netherlands, the Minister replies: "As far as it is not tax information, I do not have the information you request here.” Fiscal information is not provided with reference to the confidentiality obligation included in the General Tax Act (Wet Algemene Rijksbelastingen). The Minister uses the same arguments in a question about the arguments that led to the conclusion of the 'Antilles Route'. Hoekstra also refuses to disclose documents that formed the basis for the decision regarding new tax-financial agreements between the Dutch Ministry of Finance, the former Offshore Interests Association (VOB) and the Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands Antilles and the country Curaçao.

The Minister is less cautious about the sale in 2009 by the Dutch government of the Fortis-based Intertrust established in Curaçao. In the nationalization of the bank that had been turned over, the state became the owner of the trust office that helps companies to devise constructions for 'tax avoidance'. From a now made public note of the official summit of the Ministry of Finance, it appears that at the time he was very concerned about the reputation of the Netherlands by engaging with a company that is associated with tax havens. That explains the hasty sales at a remarkably low price. The results of Intertrust justified a sales price of 600 to 700 million euros, but that was not feasible at the time due to the crisis in the banking sector. In 2009 Intertrust was sold for 250 million, 100 million less than the asking price. The haste was prompted in part by the fear that management, personnel and customers would run away because the government could look into the kitchen.

By Rene Zwart

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