“In the Netherlands Mister Van Raak is a reasonably insignificant Member of Parliament.” In my secret post-box in The Hague I regularly find secret documents from Curaçao and St. Maarten.
Very nice to read most of the time; except of course when you read that you are “reasonably insignificant.” This line came from an internal note dated April 15, 2012, from the MFK party of Gerrit Schotte, the former Curaçao Prime Minister, who recently got sentenced to three years in prison because he was being paid by Francesco Corallo, the St. Maarten gambling boss.
Francesco Corallo is a mafia boss. I say this, because I’m allowed to. Gerard Spong, a lawyer in the Netherlands, filed a complaint against me on behalf of Corallo, because of alleged defamation and insult because I called Corallo a “mafia boss” in several columns on The PostOnline. Recently, I received a message from the head of the Prosecutor’s Office, which showed that I did my work very well as a Member of Parliament. The Prosecutor said I had the right to address wrong-doings and I also named my sources. From the secret service of Curaçao and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Italy – all found in my secret post-box.
These are the same sources that helped getting Schotte convicted, the Prime Minister who, according to the judge, was nothing more than a puppet for Corallo. Spong had to file the charges for his client Corallo, but should have known that these kind of legal tricks aren’t really worth trying in the Netherlands. The charges do, however, befit the culture of intimidation in the Dutch Caribbean, where people like Corallo try to silence their critics.
Hopefully more people dare to speak their minds every time Spong gets refuted.
Together with MP André Bosman I made a proposition for a large-scale investigation into the underworld and upper world in St. Maarten and Curaçao, especially the connection between politics and the gambling industry. That investigation, with the Netherlands investing more than US $22 million and assigning more than 50 people to this job, has started now, in collaboration with the United States (laundering of drug-money) and Italy (involvement of the mafia). In Curaçao gambling boss Robbie dos Santos has been sentenced to pay almost US $40 million. Dos Santos is closely connected to the big boss Corallo.
Together with Bosman I also asked questions about the role that KPMG plays in the gambling industry, because this Dutch accountancy office took care of the books of Corallo and possibly of Dos Santos. I’m also curious about their relationship with UTS, a telecom company in Curaçao, which may play a big role in illegal lotteries and sports betting, where quite possibly a lot of money is being laundered. The answers of Minister Plasterk were disappointing: he states that this is mainly an affair of the governments of St. Maarten and Curaçao.
But at the same time the Minister’s answers gave me hope. Plasterk pointed to the ongoing investigation when it comes to KPMG. He also recognised that the undermining of the gambling industry hurts “the Kingdom as a whole.” The Minister can’t say anything yet, but he said the investigation continues. In the meantime I appeal to the board members of KPMG in the Netherlands to closely monitor how things are working at KPMG in Curaçao and St. Maarten. I realise that I’m only an insignificant MP. But I suspect that a lot is wrong with KPMG on those islands.
Ronald van Raak