PHILIPSBURG–Port of St. Maarten Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (46) Mark Mingo was released from pre-trial detention on Wednesday.
Mingo had been arrested at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM on June 7 in connection with the “Emerald” investigation, which was launched in April 2016.
According to Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Norman Serphos on Wednesday,”His detention is no longer necessary for the investigation. 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 works on these invoices were probably never, or only a small part executed. The involvement of the suspects Mark Mingo and O’Neal Arrindell but also others, is currently under investigation.
The port and its subsidiaries are not suspects in this investigation, according to Serphos. 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 US $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 it could have been used for the construction of the new hospital,” he stated.
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,” added the prosecution’s release.
The investigation is part of a joint, intensive approach to cross-border corruption and fraud, also called the anti-corruption unit TBO (“Team Bestrijding Ondermijning”).
Corruption and moneylaundering pose a serious threat to the security and economies of the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom. The TBO of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team RST, the National Detectives of Curaçao and St. Maarten as well as the Prosecutor’s Office are partners in the fight against these undermining crimes.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67248-mingo-freed-from-detention