~ MP Emmanuel calls for Shareholder to investigate ~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Re-instated CEO of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) Brian Mingo racked up corporate credit card bills totaling almost Naf 300,000 from January 2019 to January 2021, with approximately NAf 170,000 of that spent in 2019 alone. Independent Member of Parliament disclosed this information on Monday, adding that “this is just the beginning of the apparent mis-use of airport funds, unnecessary over-spending and shameless self-gratification at the expense of the airport and its workers.”
Emmanuel said documents in his possession show that Mingo has spent lavishly over the past two years on clothing in New York City from Men’s Warehouse and Macy’s, orders from Amazon, airline tickets, computer software purchases, night clubs and numerous breakfasts, lunches and dinners locally and in the US, Canada and Europe, among other things.
The charges were made to two corporate credit cards, a “Black MasterCard Business” with a US $20,000 charging limit and a VISA card with a US $5,000 charging limit. The charging limit on the MasterCard was reduced in 2021 to a US $10,000 limit. In the month of March 2019 alone, Mingo charged over US $17,000.
MP Emmanuel called on the Shareholder Representative of the airport, which is the government of St. Maarten to immediately investigate the spending of the CEO. Corporate agreements sometimes afford top management leeway on business dinners ect and allowances are included. But this level of spending on oneself and to “feed you every time you are hungry” is not normal or acceptable. “He has literally eaten at almost every restaurant on St. Maarten,” the MP said.
The MP said in a time when people are struggling to put food on the table, coping with a global pandemic and the resulting economic fallout, the board of PJIA is enabling one man to spend wildly and without care or oversight. He said Mingo’s spending spree is the same amount of money that could have been used to pay about 160 airport employees.
He said it is sickening that on top of more than US $10 million in consultant fees from Schiphol and others that the airport has to pay, the spending for “clothes and thousand dollar-steaks” has to be added to the list. “All the while, we have Dutch CFO who must have seen these things if not participated in some, who sat back and did nothing to curb the overspending and mis-use of funds,” Emmanuel said.
“This is the CEO that has been put back in charge at PJIA. A person who is well known for his disrespect of airport employees and unwillingness to pay them what is due. But he has no problem letting them work their tails off so the airport can make just enough money to cover his extravagant lifestyle. This is where the real investigation has to start by government into the CEO, CFO and the board of the airport operating company (PJIAE). They have to go,” the MP stressed.
Emmanuel said “it is impossible” that Chairman of the airport holding board (PJIAH) Dexter Doncher was suspended over a technicality and being made into a scapegoat by a government who is afraid to stand up to the Dutch, while the same government allows the other board of the airport and their puppet CEO “to get away with murder.”
“Is one man living the high life off of airport funds the kind of good governance that the Prime Minister, State Secretary Knops, Schiphol and the World Bank profess to want at the airport? Doncher and his board was preventing Schiphol from claiming control over PJIA and got rid of a man (Mingo) who was clearly not good for the airport. But he is being crucified and treated unfairly and even suspended illegally. But you accept a serial spender of the airport money,” Emmanuel said.
He said the Prime Minister, through the airport holding board, must provide answers to the people of St. Maarten about how one man continuously got away with this kind of spending without being questioned or stopped.