The Prosecutor’s Office in Philipsburg. File photo.
PHILIPSBURG–The Prosecutor’s Office OM announced on Thursday that they have reached an out of court settlement with two car dealerships after discovering that they both failed to report unusual transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit.
During the investigation in 2016, a total of eleven vehicles were seized by the Kingdom Detective Cooperation Team RST, under the direction of the Prosecutor’s Office.
The car dealerships agreed to pay a fine of US $50,000 and US $25,000 to the Prosecutor’s Office. One of the dealerships waived its right to the 11 vehicles that were seized in 2016. These vehicles were leased by one of the two car dealerships to a number of clients.
By investigating the paper trail regarding the leases, it came to light that this car dealership failed to report as unusual some of the financial transactions regarding the lease of these vehicles. When asked by The Daily Herald about naming the car dealership, the OM Public Relations office said, “No further statements will be given regarding this investigation.
“In the course of the investigation, further transactions came to light relating to another car dealership that should have been reported. Reporting of unusual transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit is required by law and aims to prevent criminal money finding its way to legitimate businesses. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, these transactions should have been reported by the car dealerships to the Financial Intelligence Unit, based on the applicable laws and regulations,” according to the OM Public Relations.
They added, “The out of court settlement was reached because the car dealerships have shown to the Prosecutor’s Office that they have improved their internal procedures and staff awareness with regard to identifying and reporting of unusual transactions. Taking the case to court would, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, serve no other purpose, as the car dealerships have expressed their willingness to continue to improve their internal procedures and work together with the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Prosecutor’s Office on issues such as these.”
The vehicles were sold in 2016 and proceeds given to Country St. Maarten.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/89465-om-reaches-settlement-with-two-car-dealerships