Published On: Thu, Jun 30th, 2016

Sint Maarten Minister instructs VDSM to investigate Central Bank’s management

centbrankPHILIPSBURG – The Sint Maarten Minister of Finance Richard Gibson has issued an instruction to Security Service VDSM to conduct an “integrity investigation” into the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) President Emsley Tromp and CBCS’ Directors.

Gibson’s instruction comes a week after he praised Tromp and said his stewardship at CBCS “has been stellar” for the past 30 years. “In my view no facts exist to question the integrity of the President,” Gibson had said in response to an avalanche of criticisms levelled against Tromp.

Gibson told reporters at the Council of Ministers press conference on Wednesday that he sent a letter about the instruction to his colleague Finance Minister in Curaçao, requesting him to also instruct the VDSM of Curaçao to conduct a similar investigation. Gibson said the goal is to “once and for all” eliminate “all rumours and innuendos regarding the top (officials) of the Central Bank.

“It is important that there are no questions of integrity or otherwise regarding the management of the Central Bank. If such questions are continuing it attracts undesirable players in the field, which we do not want and a Central Bank has to have an aura of integrity at all times. We need to get to the bottom of whatever there is and I believe that through this method, this can be confirmed or eliminated once and for all.”

Gibson said the law requires that people, who occupy sensitive positions of confidentiality, should be subject to screening. However, he indicated that Tromp and the CBCS directors have not undergone screening, “and it’s high time that they are (screened),” Gibson said.

“So besides as a general step to dispel rumours and innuendos under the law, this is a matter of a normal course of action to screen people in these positions. I have also issued these instructions to the Secret Service and requested the Minister of Finance of Curaçao to do the same, because the Central Bank is owned jointly.”

Gibson said both Finance Ministers of Curaçao and St. Maarten need to act to achieve the screening. He said too that no investigation can take place unless the parties being investigated consent to the screening.

This means that Tromp, for example, will have to consent to the screening before it can occur. “Tromp will have to be approached and if you refuse you will draw conclusions from that,” Gibson said.

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