Three-year sentence and ban from being civil servant requested for main suspect in ‘Ruby’ case

2722
Sint Maarten Courthouse

 

Claudius Buncamper

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (OM) – The Prosecutor’s Office has requested a prison sentence of three years and a five-year ban on working as a civil servant against Member of Parliament and former high-ranking civil servant C.B. in the “Ruby” investigation. The case continued today, Tuesday.

Other suspects in the case are also facing possible penalties. M.B.M. is facing 12 months imprisonment and L.A.L.P. and R.B.F. are looking at one year suspended, on two years’ probation, and 240 hours of community service. A conditional fine of NAf. 100,000 is requested from their company.

If possible, the court will rule in this case on December 23, but in any event no later than January 13, 2022.

The “Ruby” case now before the Court of First Instance follows an extensive investigation into criminal acts concerning, among other charges, the tendering for management contracts of the landfill on Sint Maarten. 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.

C.B. is charged with taking bribes from P., F., and their company in his capacity of Head of the Infrastructure Management Department of the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI between May 1, 2015, and August 30, 2018.

He allegedly received in that period more than NAf. 600,000 for himself, his wife and his daughter and son. The funds were not only payments in cash, but also in other forms, such as a service agreement with his wife’s company, and a labour agreement with his son.

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.