Port suspends Mingo pending internal inquiry

POINTE BLANCHE–Port St. Maarten Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo has been suspended by the Port’s Supervisory Board of Directors. This comes after the Board held a hearing with Mingo and his lawyer on Monday.

The Board took the decision to suspend Mingo in accordance with the articles of incorporation of the St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company which stipulates a maximum suspension period of two months. The day-to-day operations of the Port continue as normal and remain in the hands of temporary Directors Ton van Kooten (Chief Executive Officer) and Richard Van Der Mark (Chief Operations Officer) and their teams. Mingo is suspended pending the Board’s “inquiry/investigation into the allegations lodged against Mr. Mingo,” according to a press statement issued by the Office of Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher today.

The Board will maintain contact with Mingo and he has also been instructed to do the same with the board during its investigation to bring a prompt conclusion thereof.

The Supervisory Board was informed Arrindell-Doncher as shareholder’s representative, that it is gathering information and considering the defence brought forward by Mingo, “so a proper assessment can be made, supported by documentation, on the allegations currently formulated against Mr. Mingo,” according to the statement.

The Board “will duly inform” the Minister of its findings.

Mingo prior to his suspension was on a leave of absence since his release from police custody on June 28. He was arrested on June 7 in connection with the Emerald investigation.

The Emerald investigation started in April 2016, following reports in the newspapers and questions asked in Parliament about the contract signed between Checkmate Security Company and the Port authority of St. Maarten. During this investigation suspicions arose about tax fraud, forgery and money laundering.

The investigation is part of a joint intensified fight against international fraud and corruption. Corruption and money laundering threatens the security and economy of the countries in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom. The special anti-corruption taskforce, TBO of the RST, together with the National Detectives Agencies (Landsrecherches) of Curaçao and St. Maarten and the Prosecutor’s Office.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68771-port-suspends-mingo-pending-internal-inquiry