SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Public Prosecution Service announced on Friday, February 16, that two suspects detained in connection with the Emerald investigation, namely Member of Parliament F.G.R. and businessman J.H.B., their detention has been extended by eight days.
On Friday, February 16, the two suspects were brought before the Judge of Instruction who reviewed documentation related to the case and stated that the arrests were done in accordance with the law.
ARCHIVE (FEBRUARY 14, 2018/INITIAL STORY) - The anti-corruption team TBO executed two searches in homes and one in a company on Sint Maarten, a joint press release from the Public Prosecution Service (OM) and the Anti-Corruption Unit said on Wednesday.
“Two suspects were arrested. One home was seized. The arrest of F.G. R. (1968) is the result of the research "Emerald", an investigation into fraud and corruption in the port of Sint Maarten. In that case, 7 suspects were still in session last week. In two of those cases the judge pronounces judgment on 22 February 2018.
“The other cases will be discussed further in the month of March of this year. The accused suspect is a member of the parliament on Sint Maarten, just like the suspect C.E. B., one of the seven suspects who were at court last week. F.G. R. is suspected of accepting bribes and tax fraud. F.G.R. is also suspected of participating in a criminal organization aimed at recruiting votes for itself.
“This investigation is run by the National Detective Agency of Sint Maarten (Landsrecherche Sint Maarten) under the direction of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Sint Maarten. On February 13, 2018 a search was conducted against him at an address in the Sucker Garden district and today 14 February 2018 at addresses on the French part, Saint Martin, including at the address of the defendant himself.
“Data carriers and administration were seized during the search. The second arrest concerns J.H. B. (1964) and emerged from the research "Larimar", an investigation into, among other things, the bribery of civil servants, (political) authorities and persons in the construction sector.
“Previous actions, including a search on January 24, 2018 at a construction company on Sint Maarten, led to this arrest. The defendant is the director of the construction company. In addition to these arrests, the TBO has also searched a company building in the same investigation today.
“The TBO has special attention on Sint Maarten after the destruction after hurricane Irma and regarding the reconstruction of Sint Maarten. TBO is alert to signs of corruption and fraud in both the public sector and the construction sector. The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) of Sint Maarten will be extra alert during the period up to the elections on signals of buying and selling votes ('vote buying'),” the joint press statement concludes.
Persons who have information about this are asked to contact the National Detective Agency (Landsrecherche Sint Maarten) - if necessary anonymously. This is possible via the telephone number: +1721-5225810.