WILLEMSTAD – The Public Prosecutor held house searches at six different locations on the island today. Including the Isla oil refinery, the waste management company Asphalt Lake Recovery and the home of the director.
The house searches were held at the request of the Public Prosecution in Rotterdam. They were not able to confirm the exact locations, but did indicate that it has to do with an investigation into fraud with fuel oil.
It is a large-scale investigation which has been running since 2013. It focuses on companies suspected of illegal mixing of fuel with waste products.
The fuel oil, according to a spokesman for the prosecutor, is mainly used in the engines of large ships. “If this is mixed with hazardous waste, the ships pollute the ocean, the engine can stop right in the middle of the ocean and the sailors are more at risks by inhaling the exhaust fumes.”
The illegal mixing of fuel oil is lucrative for waste companies. On the one hand the companies save on the processing of hazardous waste and on the other hand it gives them cheaper fuel oil.
The Isla refinery had already been discredited. Local residents went last year to the streets to demonstrate against pollution from the plant.
According to other information, the trust company that was raided this morning belongs to the well-known Gregory Elias, organizer of the Curaçao North Sea Jazz. The house of the former Director of Curaçao Port Services (CPS), Karel Aster was also searched this morning.
What exactly their roles are in this case is not known yet.