Published On: Mon, Sep 8th, 2014

Curaçao small island, big problems (part 7) The CYPO Caper…was it a set up for Helmin Wiels?

Curacao Ports AuthorityHelmin Wiels always believed that St. Ana Bay Harbor, a natural Sea Port, was a gift of God and belonged exclusively to the people of Curacao. Wiels insisted that never again, any company would receive exclusive concession rights to operate the Harbor of Curacao. The existing concession with Curacao Port Services (CPS), a company headed by Fernando da Costa Gomez, would have ended since 2011. Wiels refused to extend the monopoly held by CPS. He wanted an open policy in which other harbor companies could bid for a concession to operate in the Curacao harbor.

On several occasions Wiels denounced that the Curacao Port was being used for transshipment of drugs and firearms. It is also known that DEA controls all drugs trafficking on the island. However there are no indications that CPS Managing director Fernando da Costa Gomez, is personally involved in the actual smuggling of the drugs. But as an operative for DEA, he controls the shipping on behalf of corrupt DEA agents.

According to Insiders, government officials, including members of the government, were bribed by CPS owners. Former Minister of Justice and currently a senator, Elmer Wilsoe and former President of Parliament and current Prime Minister of Curacao Ivar Asjes (both for Pueblo Soberano), are very good friends with CPS managing director Fernando da Costa Gomez. Therefore it was no surprise that both supported the monopoly for CPS all the way. Wilsoe also lobbied with other members of the Government to support the deal with CPS. Obviously there was no consensus in the Council of Ministers and former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte wanted a unanimous decision on this matter.

It took several meetings before a decision could be made. Wilsoe and Asjes could not convince their colleagues to maintain the CPS’ monopoly, and a decision was made to extend the CPS concession without the monopoly. Within weeks after this decision the Schotte Government was overthrown. Consequently the CPS decision was never confirmed with a so called “Landsbesluit HAM” which is an official Government decision, signed by the Prime Minister and the Governor. Consequently CPS still to date holds the monopoly in the Harbor of Curacao.

Meanwhile a powerful group, interested to acquire a concession in the Curacao Harbor, came into the picture. The Group wanted to build and operate their own Container Handling Facilities in the Curacao Harbor. Leading the group was a Curacao national known to use his considerable wealth, earned through the illegal drug trade, to corrupt the local police, high ranked government officials and politicians. He was also known to be a very violent, wealthy and sophisticated world drug trafficker, who fled the island, to avoid capture. The group was represented by well-dressed Dutch lawyers in expensive suits and they were endorsed by corrupt DEA operatives.

Rich drug dealers are not businessmen. They aren’t smart people either. Whatever they want they PAY for it. And whoever gets paid has to deliver, no matter what. And they usually pay large amounts of money to get what they want. And they paid a VERY LARGE amount of money to get a concession in the Curacao Harbor. It was easy money and what they wanted fitted exactly in Helmin Wiels’ policies and intentions in regards to the Curacao Harbor. No more monopoly and an open policy towards all interested parties. Consequently a deal was made. A large amount of money changed hands and the ties between local politics and the international criminal underworld was set.

According to ‘highly confidential’ documents, mentioning the establishment of Curaçao Yard Property Owners (CYPO) , all terrains and materials from dock company CDM will be placed with CYPO. The same applies to, all parcels from CPA and CDM Holding and the government owned properties in the harbor. It was the intention that all Harbor site property of the government will be transferred to CYPO. The interpretation of CYPO was that it will become the only company to negotiate with a new strategic partner for CDM. However, insiders point out that CYPO will also negotiate with interested concessionaries in the harbor as soon as the existing monopoly held by Curacao Port Services, was cancelled.

Obviously not aware of any deal, Wiels was very critical about the plans for CYPO. As mentioned before Wiels believed that Curacao’s Natural Harbor was a gift of God. He called the CYPO plans, “A monster is being created here”. A company is being established without any supervision of a Board (RvC). The company will own properties that should be considered natural sources of the country. This contravenes various international treaties. For forty years, we have been trying to get rid of a monopoly in the harbor, so why would we now agree with this?”

Written by Jorge Sulbaran

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