PHILIPSBURG–Seven inmates of the Pointe Blanche prison have been identified as suspects in the ongoing “Octopus” investigation into election fraud (vote-buying) in the August 2014 Parliamentary Elections. This brings the total number of suspects in the case, in which independent Member of Parliament Silvio Matser stands at the centre, to seventeen.
Four inmates were questioned on Monday. They have been identified by the Prosecutor’s Office as J.R., J.C., K.W. and O.G. Originally, no initials were given for these suspects.
Another three inmates with initials L.W., D.W., and K.M. were questioned by the National Detectives on Tuesday.
All seven men already are incarcerated for other offences unrelated to the Octopus investigation. They were transported from the prison to meet the National Detectives for questioning.
Vote-buying in the prison is said to be the initial reason for the launch of “Octopus” in October 2014, 17 months ago. The Prosecutor’s Office has not confirmed whether votes cast in the prison were the catalyst for the investigation.
Six other men – J.B., R.G., G.W., R.Y., R.F., and J. la. P. – have been questioned and released. They also remain suspects in the case.
Matser was arrested on March 2 and is still in custody of the National Detectives.
Arrested on the same day as Matser were E.F. and R.K. (said to be former police officer Rogelio Koeiman). W.B. joined the other three in custody when he was arrested the next day, March 3. These four men are still under arrest.
Matser, E.F. and R.K. are to remain in the custody of the National Detectives for eight days, a period that started on March 4 when the Judge of Instruction granted the Prosecutor’s request for an extension of detention.
In accordance with the Penal Code, the Prosecutor should present the four detainees – Matser, E.F., R.K. and W.B. – not later than Friday to a Judge of Instruction for the continuation of their detention. The Prosecutor’s Office is still to make a decision on whether an extension of their detention is necessary for the ongoing investigation.
Source: The Daily Herald Seven inmates now suspects in ‘Octopus’ investigation