PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 three (3) suspects were detained in connection with the ongoing investigation code-named Emerald. The special anti-corruption taskforce TBO of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team (RST) in cooperation with the National Detectives Agency St. Maarten and the French authorities also carried out two house searches.
The suspects C.B., A.A., and S.W. were arrested and detained. They are suspected of forgery and tax evasion. In the Sucker Garden district a house was searched in the presence of an investigative judge. The French authorities also searched a house in the French Quarter district.
Documents, records and digital data carriers among other things were seized. These are all premises where the investigators had not previously searched.
In connection with this same investigation a total of seven (7) premises, including the house of the suspect O.A., the offices of the port authority of Sint Maarten and at a security company were searched on November 28, 2016.
The Emerald-investigation started in April 2016, following reports in the newspapers and questions asked in Parliament about the contract signed between the suspect’s security company the port authority of St. Maarten. During this investigation suspicions arose about tax fraud, forgery and money laundering.
The investigation is part of a joint intensified fight against international fraud and corruption. Corruption and money laundering threatens the security and economy of the countries in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom. The special anti-corruption taskforce, TBO of the RST, together with the National Detectives Agencies (Landsrecherches) of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and the Prosecutor’s Office have joined forces to combat corruption.