PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The remaining two suspects in the “Aquamarine II” criminal case both signed an out-of-court settlement with the Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, for their part in the case.
A public servant accepted an out-of-court settlement of NAf 10,000, offered by the Prosecutor’s Office concerning a suspicion of participating in a contract or the supply of services to whose management or supervision he, as a highly ranked public servant, had been assigned at the time of the contract.
A construction company accepted an out-of-court settlement of NAf 20,000, offered by the Prosecutor’s Office concerning a suspicion of paying multiple bribes to a Member of Parliament to secure contracts.
“Aquamarine II” focused on the suspicion that a former Member of Parliament had requested substantial sums of money from a construction company after the insurance company paid for repairs of storm damage to the building in which the government-owned company is located. This concerned repair of damage caused by Hurricane Irma. In November 2021, he was convicted by the Court of first instance on Sint Maarten for bribery, and for participating in a contract or the supply of services while he, as a Member of Parliament, was charged with the ultimate supervision of the contract.
The Prosecutor’s Office offered the out-of-court settlements to these two suspects for a number of reasons. The facts have taken place quite a long time ago, and both suspects were never convicted of any crime. Both suspects cooperated during the investigation. The owner of the construction company provided complete information and transparency, while incriminating himself and the company with his statements. Up until today, the company as a result faced high financial losses.
By paying the agreed amounts, the suspects avoid any further criminal prosecution and the case will be closed.
This investigation was started by the Kingdom Cooperation Team RST, under the leadership by the Anti-Corruption Taskforce – Central Team of the Attorney-General’s Office of Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The Central Team specializes in tackling corruption and undermining financial economic crime. The taskforce also investigates fraud, forgery, and money laundering.