Arrested Kadaster Director returns from Netherlands

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Kadaster Director Clemens Roos returned to St. Maarten

By The Daily Herald

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Kadaster Director Clemens Roos returned to St. Maarten from the Netherlands on Tuesday, after it was ruled in the Netherlands that he would be allowed to finish his contract on the island before sitting out his sentence.

Roos was arrested on request of the Netherlands June 24 in connection with a pending sentence for having committed large-scale fraud with social benefits in the 1990s.

The Daily Herald had contact with both Roos and Kadaster Board of Directors Secretary Vincent Boetius on Tuesday, and inquired about the next steps at the Kadaster Office concerning his role.

However, both declined to comment, at least until Roos and the board are able to meet. This is expected to happen today, Wednesday. This newspaper understands that Roos’ contract would expire at the year’s end.

In the meantime, there has not been any word on the finding of a replacement for Roos, but Kadaster has been advertising the vacancies. Boetius told this newspaper on July 6 that there was “no potential candidate in mind” at that time and that the board also had been dealing with “other priorities.” There are only two people on the board.

Kadaster Manager Marcia Peterson was sworn in as Acting Conservator of Mortgages (“Hypotheek Bewaarder”) – the second role held by Roos– on Friday, July 3.

As previously reported, The National Prosecutor’s Office in the Netherlands stated on July 1 that Roos had to sit out 475 days in prison. He first was sentenced by the Court of First Instance in 1997 for fraud committed while he was employed by the Social Insurance Bank in the Netherlands. He also was ordered to pay 84,646 guilders to the Bank.

After appealing, he was irrevocably convicted by the High Court in The Hague in 2011 to 22 months, six of which were suspended, with two years’ probation, but was only arrested in St. Maarten in 2015, when he was tracked down. The Dutch National Prosecutor’s Office said he had left the country without leaving an address.

Roos has been employed by the St. Maarten Kadaster as Conservator of Mortgages since 2009. He was appointed Kadaster Director as per January 13, 2011. He has been registered with the Civil Registry since 2009.

After a request for reprieve filed by Roos was turned down, the Prosecutor’s Office decided to arrest him. He was held for being a fugitive, as he had left the Netherlands without leaving an address.

However, Roos and his legal representatives in the Netherlands were of a diametrically opposed opinion. They claimed Roos could have been contacted via his attorney and had registered with the authorities in St. Maarten after his arrival on the island. Therefore, he should be considered a so-called “self-reporter” (zelfmelder in Dutch).

A self-reporter is a person who voluntarily reports himself to the Prosecutor’s Office to sit out a pending prison sentence. A self-reporter is entitled to postponement of the execution of a sentence on certain grounds.

In an injunction, Roos requested that the Court grant him the status of a self-reporter to allow him time to provide the St. Maarten Kadaster with a suitable successor and to handle private matters.

In its ruling of August 7, the Court in The Hague ruled in favour of Roos, who was held at the detention centre at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Based on the ruling, the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office granted the requested postponement until the expiration of his contract with the Kadaster, which enables Roos to transfer his work and to “contribute to the Kadaster’s continuity,” as his attorney put it, on condition of anonymity.

Photo by The Real Paparazzi Network