PHILIPSBURG:— Detectives that are busy in the Colade investigation arrested Regina Labega, Fabian Badejoe and Erica Fortuno early Monday morning as they continue with the six year old investigation that involves the suspects. The trio had an account in the name of DMC registered in Anguilla. DMC is a registered company where Labega is a shareholder.
The company was registered as a marketing company and was working for the Tourist Office while Labega was heading that department.
During the early stages of the Colade investigation, detectives and the prosecutor’s office had found the off-shore account for DMC in Anguilla where monies from Chase Manhattan Bank in New York was transferring up to 1.2M UDS to the DMC account in Anguilla. At that time Fortuno was heading the New York Tourist Office, while Labega was head of St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. The monies sent to that company was for marketing purposes. SMN News understands that the company DMC belonged to Labega, Badejoe and Fortuno.
On October 16th 2015 the National detectives conducted five house searches which were led by the judge of instruction, on the request of the public prosecutor’s office.
However, on Monday May 30th 2016 the detectives made a second move, this time made some more searches and arrested the three suspects. Regina Labega, Fabian Badejoe and Erica Fortuno.
The prosecutor’s office through its spokesman Gino Bernadina confirmed the arrest of the trio.
The fourth suspect Edward Dest appeared before the court on March 25th 2015 and was sentenced to one day prison sentence.
Three arrests in Colade investigation
On Monday May 30, 2016 three suspects, namely, R.L. (56), F.A.A.B. (55) en E.A.I.F (36) have been arrested following the complaint of embezzlement in employment, theft and forgery filed by the head of the Finance Department on November 25, 2010 against employees of the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau. They will be heard on the currently available research results. This will probably take several days, given the size of the dossier.
The National Detective Agency has been busy with a long-term investigation against the staff of the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau. In this regard the National Detective Bureau conducted on October 15, 2015 house searches on five different locations. This investigation, called Colade, is now almost completed.
The long duration of the investigation is due to the fact that a lot of information had to be obtained from abroad and their analysis has taken much time. In addition, the National Detectives Department, in particular when the investigation started, had a very limited capacity and was constantly confronted with other big investigations.
The case against a fourth suspect E.J.D. (51)in the Colade investigation has already been brought in front of the judge. On March 25, 2015 he was sentenced to one (1) day in jail for complicity in the deliberate misappropriation of money or monetary instruments as an official.
The prosecution intends to present this investigation to court in the second half of 2016.