Wednesday Aug 15

Arrests made in St Maarten in international corruption probe

Arrests made in St Maarten in international corruption probe

PHILLIPSBURG, St Maarten -- The Anti-corruption Taskforce (TBO) of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team has arrested Francesco Corallo (56), at the request of Italian authorities. Italy will ask for his extradition. He will be prosecuted in Italy among other things for tax evasion and bribery of several politicians. Corallo is also suspected in Italy for using his businesses for money laundering.

Property searches that started on Tuesday morning in St Maarten and are being led by the Judge of Instruction are still ongoing. Corallo’s home is one of the premises that is being searched.

Several searches are also taking place on French St Martin led by an Investigative Judge. There Dutch born Rudolf Baetsen (50) was arrested. Searches have also taken place in Italy and suspects have been arrested. Finally, in Amsterdam an office building has been searched.

The arrests and searches are part of an international coordinated action in Italy, St Maarten, Netherlands and the French St Martin.

These actions are the result of a partnership that started 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 concert with this partnership in the arrests, searches, and seizure.

This international cooperation fits into the joint, intensive approach to combat cross-border corruption and fraud, also called “undermining”. Undermining, including corruption and money laundering, poses a serious threat to the security and economy of the countries in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom.

Authorities in Curacao and St Maarten and the Prosecutor’s Offices are partners in the fight against “undermining”.

Republished with permission of the Curacao Chronicle

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