PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Current Member of Parliament C.B. and co-suspects M.B-M, R.F., and L.L. were before the Court of First Instance this week following an extensive investigation into criminal acts concerning, among other charges, the tendering for management contracts of the landfill on Sint Maarten. This case set to continue in court on November 15-16.
The focus of the suspicion against C.B. lies with corruption during his tenure as Head of Infrastructure at the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure VROMI. In particular, he is suspected of the taking of bribes, abuse of position, forgery, and the misuse of government funds for personal purposes. M.B-M. is a co-suspect in accepting bribes. R.F. and L.L. are suspected of paying the bribes.
The “Ruby” investigation was started in July 2018 by the Kingdom Cooperation Team RST under the leadership by the Anti-Corruption Taskforce TBO of the Attorney-General’s Office of Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. On February 12, 2021, the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and the BES-islands allowed the prosecution of C.B.
It is in the interest of Sint Maarten society that there is clarity about the alleged corrupt and fraudulent conduct of a person who is part of the public administration.
For a well-functioning democratic society, it is essential that residents have confidence in their government. Official corruption is a phenomenon with many manifestations and does mainly occurs at the interface of public and private interests. Corruption can permanently disrupt a society: it damages the integrity of the government and leads to trade false competition.
For those reasons, TBO takes signals of such corruption extremely seriously and, if necessary, has an in-depth investigation carried out.