Prosecutor petitions court for Port civil inquiry

PHILIPSBURG –The Prosecutor’s Office on Friday filed a petition to the Court in First Instance to set up a civil inquiry (“civiele enquete”) regarding the state of affairs within the Port of St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company NV. This is the result of a preliminary investigation launched by the prosecution in the autumn of 2015, in response to persistent reports that there would be maladministration at the government-owned company. During this exercise they requested documents and involved stakeholders. The Management Board and Supervisory Board were also asked for a response.

  On the basis of the information gathered thus far, the Prosecutor’s Office has reasons to doubt a correct policy within the company. For example, there are questions about the procurement of projects, the internal control of expenses and loans that the port has extended.

  In view of the importance that the country of St. Maarten has in a healthy and profitable port company, the Prosecutor’s Office considers it necessary to conduct an investigation into the conduct of the port. This is not a criminal investigation, but a civil investigation into possible mismanagement.

  The law gives the prosecution the power to request the court, in the public interest, to launch such a civil inquiry.

Source: The Daily Herald