Published On: Tue, Jul 30th, 2013

John Deuss gets support from Central Bank Curacao

John DeussTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – The banker John Deuss who is accused of being involved in a mega scam appears to have a striking ally in the criminal case against him. Quote 500-celebrity Deuss is suspected of illegal banking and facilitating tax fraud, and therefore is on trial before the court in Arnhem, the Netherlands. During the first hearing in the criminal case against him, it was revealed that the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten has sent two lawyers to defend him in his fight against justice.

The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles formerly Bank (BNA), confiscated in 2006 the First Curacao International Bank (FCIB) after action was taken against the owner of the bank, John Deuss (Quote 500 No. 41 , € 543 million), and his sister and banking director Tineke Deuss in England and the Netherlands. FCIB was a turntable in a large-scale Tax fraud, a form of banditry which cost hundreds of billions to the Member States of the European Union.

FCIB, John and Tineke Deuss are now standing trial in a criminal case in Arnhem on suspicion of illegal banking, money laundering and  the undermining of the society and the financial system. Meanwhile, the BNA has been struggling to dismantle FCIB. Because of the legal process, the disbursement of bona fide accounts is extremely slow because that account holders should set up a lot of paperwork to prove that they are bona fide.

To defend FCIB, the BNA has hired two lawyers from the Amsterdam office De Roos and Pen, Dirk van der Landen and Lydia Backx. Van der Landen consistently showed, during the session last Thursday, that he unites himself with the three lawyers representing John Deuss  and the lawyer of Tineke Deuss. Now the Central Bank of Curaçao is not known to be very smart, but defending an offshore bank that has benefitted from stealing hundreds of billions of euros of European taxpayers seems to go very far.

However, the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten as a strong interest in this, explains lawyer Van der Landen in the corridors of the Arnhem court. The tax haven fears image damage by pulling down FCIB. "The Public Prosecutor (OM) wants $ 100 million of Deuss and FCIB" says Van der Landen to the Quote. "If the OM gets its way, this would be at the expense of FCIB customers, then there is not enough money return back to the customers. That is bad for the reputation of the island as a financial center. In addition, it is the Central Bank's duty to defend the interests of customers. It is conceivable that our interest is not parallel to that of Deuss 'lawyers, but I expect that we usually will go together.' And so it can be that the OM will have to go against six lawyers in the coming years, as the case might go for a long time. There is about 300 witnesses requested.

And incidentally, it is indeed true that most FCIB customers were bona fide customers, says Van der Landen. "There aren’t so many cases against customers." Contrast, British authorities claim that hundreds of convicts and suspects of tax fraud banked at FCIB. On we find five Dutch cases against (alleged) tax fraudsters who banked at FCIB. Curators also complain sometimes that they receive no money from fake companies who had an account at FCIB. There are some known cases from the United States and Canada. Van der Landen: "If you believe the OM then everyone is a suspect , but there would have to be hundreds of lawsuits against customers. In practice there are only a few."

By Henk Willem Smits

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