PHILIPSBURG:—The Public Prosecution Office released 46-year old M.M. today, on Wednesday, June 28th 2017. His detention is no longer necessary for the investigation. The suspect was arrested in the Emerald investigation on June 7, 2017. Since that time he was detained. He remains a suspect and the investigation in this case continues.
The Emerald investigation started in April 2016 and revealed that some companies in Sint Maarten have allegedly sent fictitious or greatly increased bills to the port. These invoices were then paid. However, the work on these invoices were probably never, or only a small part executed. The involvement of the suspects M.M. and O.A. , but also others, is currently under investigation.
The port and its subsidiaries are not a suspect in this investigation
Presumably this form of fraud has been going on for years. The first estimate is that in this way the port and the country Sint Maarten were disadvantaged for at least 7 million US Dollars. From that money, for example, a large number of social housing could have been built. For half of that amount the country could have refurbish all school buildings this year, or could have been used for the construction of the new hospital.
More information will follow on this case as soon as there is more clarity about the extent of the fraud and the role of the suspects in this investigation.
The investigation is part of a joint, intensive approach to cross-border corruption and fraud, also called the anti-corruption unit (Team Bestrijding Ondermijning). Corruption and moneylaundering poses a serious threat to the security and economies of the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom. The TBO of the RST, and the national detectives of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and the Public Prosecution Office are partners in the fight against undermining.
For more information see and like our Facebook-page: @TBOAnticorruptionWatch
Prosecutor’s Office Press Release.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Investigation Emerald: Suspect M.M. released by OM.