Published On: Thu, Dec 6th, 2018

St. Maarten: TBO searches VROMI Infrastructure offices

SXM-inval-TBO-RST-landfill-dumpPHILIPSBURG - The Anti-Corruption Task Force TBO of the Kingdom Detective Cooperation Team RST and the Prosecutor’s Office continued their searches on Wednesday.

This time the offices of the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Infrastructure Department were searched by officers for several hours. Documents and devices were confiscated during the search.

The investigation into the sanitary landfill (dump) started in July, regarding possible criminal offences in awarding contracts relating to waste management in St. Maarten, with particular attention to official corruption, in particular taking bribes and bribing officials.

The offices of former landfill maintenance company Robelto NV were raided by TBO officers on Tuesday morning.

The Court of First Instance Judge of Instruction and TBO officers were seen speaking to VROMI Secretary-General Louis Brown outside the Government Administration building. The Daily Herald understands that VROMI Minister Miklos Giterson was not notified about the search until officers were already searching the offices.

The TBO believes the sanitary landfill has been a source of great concern for the Prosecutor’s Office this year, mainly because of its size, the administration and the health risks it entails. Investigators will be looking at the procurement of the relevant management contracts that might signal corruption. The Prosecutor started another investigation earlier this year that focuses on the environment, public health and safety.

The TBO team is a collaboration between the RST and the Attorney-General of Curaçao, St. Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The TBO specialises in addressing economic and financial crime, including investigation of corruption such as tax fraud, forgery and money-laundering. It can be contacted at anti-corruption@rst-politie.net . Direct phone contact is possible via +1-721-553-3856.

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