GREAT BAY – The Public Prosecutor’s Office released 46-year-old port director Mark Mingo yesterday because his detention is no longer necessary for the investigation. Inflated invoices that were paid by the port “for work that was probably never done” disadvantages the country to the tune of $7 million, the prosecutor’s office said in a press statement.
Mingo’s attorney Hans de Jong said in a brief press statement that Mingo “strongly denies” the correctness of these statements. “No criminal offense whatsoever has been committed. He has full confidence in the outcome of the pending investigation. It is regretful that the Public Prosecutor draws conclusions before the investigations are completed and issues irrelevant insinuations and suggestive remarks.”
Mingo was arrested in the Emerald investigation on June 7. 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 was probably never, or only a small part executed, the prosecutor’s office stated.
The involvement of the suspects Mark Mingo and O’Neal A. (Director of Checkmate Security), 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 country St. Maarten were disadvantaged for at least $7 million. From that money, for example, a large number of social housing could have been built. For half of that amount the country could have refurbished all school buildings this year, or the money could have been used for the construction of the new hospital.”
Source: TODAY http://today.sx/local-news/port-director-mark-mingo-released-fraud-tune-7-million-inflated-invoices/