Acquittal of money laundering charges


By Today Newspaper

GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance acquitted former Public Health Minister Maria Buncamper-Molanus and her husband Claudius of several charges. The first one concerns the sale and purchase agreement of December 19, 2013, whereby Eco Green sold the right of long lease to the parcel of land on Pond Island for $345,000 to St. Maarten building Supplies.

“The purchase price is possibly lower than the economic value, but this does not amount to forgery,” the court ruled.

Like all other suspects, the court also acquitted the Buncampers of membership of a criminal organization.

The court furthermore acquitted the Buncampers of the charges of money laundering listed in the second summons. The charges include the transfer of a claim for rent of $1.3 million from Eco Green on SBS to a third party and the transfer of shares in Central Mix Concrete (valued at $1.1 million) by SBS to that third party, Western Isles Ltd.

The court notes that Buncamper-Molanus “probably” had something to do with western Islas.

The court ruled that in does not see how the amounts involved in these transfers could stem from a crime. Even if the rent claim is fictitious or too high it does not amount to money laundering, the court ruled. The Central Mix concrete shares did not stem from a crime either, the court added.

“They did not come from a crime through the transfer either, also not when one assumes that the transfer was designed to evade taxes.”