SP asks about Corallo bribe via Fortis Bank

THE HAGUE–Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP), on Monday, called on Dutch Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem to investigate the ties between the Dutch State Bank Fortis and the St. Maarten/Italian businessman Francesco Corallo.

Van Raak also wants the role of the accountancy firm KPMG scrutinised as the in-house accountant of both the Fortis Bank and Corallo. The casino boss is currently locked up in St. Maarten on suspicion of tax evasion and bribery. He is awaiting extradition to Italy.

The Member of Parliament (MP) submitted written questions to Minister Dijsselbloem and Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk following the publication of an elaborate article in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad on Tuesday, regarding the alleged role of the Fortis Bank in a bribery affair involving Corallo and Italian politician Giancarlo Fini.

Fini, who was number two on the slate of Silvio Berlusconi’s PDL party, has been arrested on money laundering charges. According to the newspaper, some four million euros were transferred from a Fortis Bank account in 2009 to Fini.

The Fortis Bank is owned by the Dutch State since 2009, and has been taken over by the ABN AMRO Bank. The question is whether the Fortis Bank neglected its legal obligation to carry out active supervision on its clients, in this case Corallo.

Van Raak wanted to know why the nationalised Fortis Bank had not reported the unusual transactions of casino owner Corallo, which may have resulted in the bribery of an Italian politician. He asked the Ministers to investigate whether the correct procedures had been followed by the Fortis Bank in 2009.

“It appears that a bank owned by the Dutch State has cooperated with Corallo’s criminal activities while it was a known fact for years that Corallo has close ties with the mafia,” said the MP, who also sought clarity on the role of the Dutch Central Bank DNB as supervising entity and the role of KPMG as the in-house accountant of both Fortis and Corallo.

More on this affair in a letter-to-the-editor from Van Raak on the opinion pages of The Daily Herald.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/64562-sp-asks-about-corallo-bribe-via-fortis-bank