Philipsburg.- On Monday September 2, 2019 a member of parliament of St. Maarten Frans Richardson leader of the United St.Maarten Peoples Party (USP) was detained by agents of the Anti-corruption Taskforce (TBO). He is suspected of accepting bribes, (co) committing official coercion and abusing his position. In connection with the same investigation, a member of the board of a government company was arrested earlier this week on Monday, September 9, 2019. He is – among others – suspected of the same criminal offenses but also of making decisions which are to the disadvantage of this public company.
The criminal investigation which has been named ‘Aquamarine’, focuses, among other things, on the suspicion that both suspects have requested substantial sums of money from a construction company after the insurance company paid for repairs of storm damage to the building in which the government-owned company is located. This concerns repair of damage caused by Hurricane Irma. In addition, one of the suspects is accused of having abused his political function to gain personal benefit from it.
Both suspects have been questioned and have since been released. In the interest of the investigation it is no longer necessary that they remain in custody.
The Anti-corruption Taskforce (TBO) specializes in tackling corruption and undermining financial economic crime. Among other things, the team investigates fraud, forgery and money laundering.