GREAT BAY – The Public Prosecutor’s Office intends to conduct a civil inquiry into the state of affairs at the St. Maarten Harbor Holding Company. On Friday the public prosecutor filed a request for permission to this extent at the Common Court of Justice.
The request is the result of an investigation the public prosecutor initiated in the fall of 2015. The reason for that investigation was “persistent signals about mismanagement within the company,” the public prosecutor states in a press release.
In the context of the 2015-investigation, the public prosecutor has requested documents and spoken with stakeholders. Management and the Supervisory Board of Directors have also been asked for a reaction.
“Based on the information that is available now, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is of the opinion that there are justified reasons to doubt that the policy of the company is correct. There are questions about the tendering of projects, internal control on expenditures and the loans the harbor has contracted,” the Public Prosecutor’s Office states in a press release.
An investigation into the state of affairs is in the interest that the country has in a healthy and profitable port company, the prosecutor’s office says.
The inquiry is not a criminal investigation but a civil inquiry into possible mismanagement. The law authorizes the Public Prosecutor’s Office to ask the court in the general interest permission to start such an inquiry.
The CEO of the Harbor Group of Companies, Mark Mingo, was arrested at the airport in June as a suspect in the Emerald-investigation. This investigation focuses on money laundering, forgery and tax evasion. Mingo was later released; he took a leave of absence and was later suspended by the supervisory board of directors. O’Neal A., director of Checkmate Security, is also a suspect in the Emerald-investigation.