PHILIPSBURG–A Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) cabinet staffer J.L. was arrested earlier this week as part of the “Seabass” investigations.
Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Roderick Gouverneur said in a press statement issued on Wednesday that in a long-term investigation called Seabass, the National Detectives investigate irregularities in the procurement of information communications technology (ICT) projects in recent years.
The investigation focuses on the head of ICT for Sint Maarten M.D., who is suspected of abuse of his position in awarding public ICT tenders and of laundering the illegal proceeds. Several persons and legal entities have been identified as suspects in the investigation. In addition, amounts of money and a plot of land were seized. As part of this investigation the National Detectives arrested L. this week, it was stated in the release. More arrests are not excluded.
“The National Detectives have continued this investigation because the actions of the accused undermine the integrity of the public administration and the civil service. Administrative responsibilities and business interests are intertwined. This can be at the expense of the quantity, quality and price of the products delivered to the government. Moreover, this does not benefit the citizens of St. Maarten and disturbs the level playing field for the business community,” it was stated in the release.