GREAT BAY – United St. Maarten party leader MP Frans Richardson has vehemently denied that he is a shareholder of Checkmate Security, saying that he is “in no way, shape or form connected or part of any management team and shareholder” of the company.
Richardson stated that the Checkmate-director is a friend of his and that he has known him since he was a child. The term ‘childhood friend’ is incorrect according to the statement, given the fact that Richardson is 15 years older than the Emerald-suspect.
We publish the unabridged text of Richardson’s statement today on our Letters to the Editor page.
We also asked the prosecutor’s office whether the Emerald-team of investigators has access to the shareholders register of Checkmate security. Furthermore, we asked, if this is the case, whether the prosecutor’s office can “confirm or deny” that the name of MP Richardson appears in this register. The objective of the questions is to obtain an independent verification of MP Richardson’s statement.
Unfortunately, the prosecutor’s office declined to provide answers to these and other questions. “The investigation is still in full swing and in the interest of the investigation the prosecutor’s office is unable to answer the questions,” spokesman Gino Bernadina informed this newspaper yesterday afternoon.
In the meantime, a screenshot has surfaced from the Facebook page of O’Neal A. It is dated June 5, 2011. On that date, A. uploaded a photo from his Blackberry to his Facebook page, showing a huge pack of 50-euro banknotes. Prosecutors have in the past repeatedly linked banknotes with this value to drug dealing.
Photo caption: Oneal A.’s Facebook post from 2011. Photo screenshot