Published On: Mon, Jan 27th, 2014

PAIS: Corruption has penetrated deep

ParliamentWILLEMSTAD – “If there is a colleague in Parliament, who is suspected of being part of the organized crime, which brings the underworld to the upper world, then we are in big trouble. Organized crime and money laundering are the causes of poverty in a country.”

Harsh statements made by the Member of Parliament for PAIS, Alex Rosaria last week during the central committee when they MP’s were discussing the "Ordinance amending the Land Regulation notification requirements of cross-border cash transports" that falls under the Unusual Transactions (MOT).

The law is an adaptation whereby persons entering Curacao not only have a the obligation to notify if they have with them 20,000 guilders or more, but they are also required to report when they have bullions, jewelry or other items worth 20,000 guilders or more with them.

Rosaria: “PAIS supports the bill, and we hope that the law will be adopted shortly in the public meeting of Parliament. The law is not only good for maintaining our good name in the world for its financial performance, the law is especially important for the Curaçao citizen. The more money is withdrawn from the legal circuit, the more citizens suffer in terms of more poverty. We should be concerned because corruption has penetrated into the highest sectors of society.”

Observing this, Rosaria proposes to discuss the MOT management. This is in the hands of the Minister of Finance.

“The law is created with the idea that we are dealing with decent people. I see a danger in this: the management should not be in the hands of a politician or a minister. This must be changed as soon as possible and we have to take it seriously.”

The treatment of the Ordinance notification requirement of cross-border cash transports in the central committee appears to be in great need for an update. The MP’s had a lot of questions related to earlier developments around the MOT.

Rosaria refers to the evaluation of the island by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) this year.

“Will the MOT laws also be evaluated? Is there a process used to evaluate in order to determine whether they can endure all of the OECD tests?” The MP asked.

He also referred to the project within the OECD, the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which examines tax systems. According Rosaria Curacao will be also evaluated.

Furthermore the MP indicated that Curacao will receive a low grade from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) for some of the 14 criteria on which the island was evaluated. ,

“Where are we now with the steps needed to eliminate the failures and to implement the recommendations?” Independent MP stressed that Curacao is too small to fight organized crime by itself. “The law is very important to continue participating internationally.”

She asked especially for the number of MOT reports in 2013, how many of them were forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service (OM) after the evaluation and how many of them have led to a criminal investigation and resulted in a case in court.

In this connection, Marilyn Moses (PAIS) asked about the MOT reports after 2009. There are mentions of various reports in the annual reports. Moses wants to know what the further process is on those reports. She also wants to know when the latest annual reports will become available.

She also drew attention to the fact that customs officers should be trained according to this new adjustment in the national ordinance.

“Has this already happened or is there a course being prepared? Is there a new list of indicators that should be used to recognize the new unusual transactions? Do we have enough customs officers for this new job?”

In addition, she indicates that it is stated in the CFATF recommendations that the money and other precious metals must be not only inspected at the airport but also at the container harbor and the post office.

She wonders whether this is included in the Act.

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