~ Baetsen also arrested ~
PHILIPSBURG–Atlantis Group owner Francesco Corallo (56) and the Group’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rudolf Baetsen (56) were arrested in St. Maarten on Tuesday.
The Anti-corruption Taskforce (TBO) of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team arrested Corallo at the request of Italian authorities and Italy will ask for his extradition, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release on Tuesday. Corallo will be prosecuted in Italy for amongst other things, tax evasion and bribery of several politicians. The Italy-born Corallo is also suspected in Italy for using his businesses for money-laundering.
On Tuesday, authorities also searched several of Corallo’s properties in St. Maarten including his home and an office building. The arrests and searches are part of an international coordinated action in Italy, St. Maarten, the Netherlands and French St. Martin, the Prosecutor’s Office said.
Several searches also took place in French St. Martin led by an Investigative
Judge. There is where Baetsen, who was born in the Netherlands, was arrested.
Searches were also conducted in Italy and suspects have been arrested there. An office building was also searched in Amsterdam.
These actions are the result of a partnership which began six months ago between the
Prosecutor’s Offices of Italy, the Netherlands and St. Maarten. The Anti-corruption Unit of the Attorney General’s Office acted in line with this partnership as it relates to the arrests, searches and seizures.
The international cooperation between Italy, St. Maarten, French St. Martin and the
Netherlands fits into the joint, intensive approach to combat cross-border corruption and fraud also called “undermining.” Undermining, including corruption and money-laundering pose a serious threat to the security and economy of the countries in the
Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom, the Prosecutor’s Office said.
The TBO of the RST, the National Detectives Agencies of Curaçao and St. Maarten and the Prosecutor’s Office are partners in the fight against undermining.