~ 3 suspects detained in Emerald-investigation ~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Wednesday, March 15, three suspects were detained in connection with the ongoing investigation code-named “Emerald.”
The special anti-corruption taskforce TBO of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team (RST) in cooperation with the National Detectives Agency St. Maarten and the French authorities also carried out two house searches.
The suspects MP Chanel E. Brownbill, Akeem Arrindell, and Shervin Williams were arrested and detained. They are suspected of forgery and tax evasion. In the Sucker Garden district, a house was searched in the presence of an investigative judge. French authorities also searched a house in the French Quarter district.
Documents, records and digital data carriers, among other things, were seized. These are all premises where the investigators had not previously searched.
In connection with this same investigation, a total of 7 premises, including the house of the suspect O.A., the offices of the port authority of St. Maarten and a security company were searched on November 28, 2016.
The Emerald investigation started in April 2016, following reports in the newspapers and questions asked in Parliament about the contract signed between the suspect’s security company and the port authority of St. Maarten. During this investigation, suspicions arose about tax fraud, forgery and money laundering.
The investigation is part of a joint intensified fight against international fraud and corruption. Corruption and money laundering threatens the security and economy of the countries in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom.
The special anti-corruption taskforce, TBO of the RST, together with the National Detectives Agencies (Landsrecherches) of Curaçao and St. Maarten and the Prosecutor’s Office have joined forces to combat corruption.