Gambling industry is local responsibility, says Plasterk

THE HAGUE–The gambling industry in Curaçao and St. Maarten, and the possible transgressions in that sector, are primarily an autonomous affair of the countries, said Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plaster, who refuses to give a statement on individual companies and citizens.

The Minister stated this in response to written questions submitted less than two weeks ago by Members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) and André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party.

Van Raak and Bosman sought clarity on the possible involvement of the accountancy firm KPMG in the gambling industry in Curaçao and St. Maarten. More specifically, the media reports that KPMG checked the financial administration of St. Maarten casino owner Francesco Corallo. KPMG Dutch Caribbean immediately denied any involvement.

Members of Parliament (MPs) Van Raak and Bosman based their written questions on various media reports regarding sports-betting, the (illegal) gambling industry, Corallo, the Dutch Caribbean telecom provider UTS and the role of KPMG.

Plasterk explained that the Public Prosecutor’s Offices in Curaçao and St. Maarten were the authorised institutions in charge of investigation of possible transgressions, and where opportune, the prosecution, under the political responsibility of the local Minister of Justice.

The Kingdom has a role to play in case of criminal actions that link the underworld and upper world, because undermining crime affects the Kingdom as a whole, stated the Minister, who added that he took the “signals and reports” seriously. He said that it wasn’t befitting to make statements about individual companies and citizens.

Plasterk mentioned the May 2015 protocol between the Netherlands and St. Maarten regarding the tackling of border-transgressing, undermining crime. The Hague invests 22.1 million euros in this approach which is directed by Attorney General of Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands Guus Schram.

In Curaçao, the Prosecutor’s Office has “visibly and successfully” tackled offences that affected integrity of government, and which involved the gambling industry. He referred to the Bientu case in which lottery boss Robbie dos Santos was sentenced to a conditional prison term of two years and NAf. 72.5 million was confiscated.

Source: The Daily Herald Gambling industry is local responsibility, says Plasterk