Monday , May 29 2023

Theo Heyliger arrested in corruption case this morning – Update

The Dutch Newspaper NRC reports that United Democrats leader and  St. Maarten Member of Parliament Theodore Heyliger (48) was arrested by the Anti-corruption Taskforce (TBO) as part of the Larimar investigation this morning,  There is a fear that the arrest of Mr. Heyliger can have a serious impact on the political stability of our neighbor island. Mr. Heyliger is a popular person in certain political circles on Saba.


The Daily Herald reports in an update the following:

The Anti-Corruption Task Force TBO on Tuesday arrested Member of Parliament Theodore Heyliger at his home in Guana Bay before 8:00am in connection with the “Larimar” investigation.

Officers searched his home and confiscated a number of documents and data carriers. Heyliger will be questioned until he is brought in front of a judge of instruction who will rule if the arrest was done according to the laws of the land.

As part of the Larimar investigation Dutch consultant R.M. (64) was suspected of alleged bribery of former Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI and now United Democrats Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger between August 1 and September 9, 2011.

According to an indictment that was handed to the suspect by the Prosecutor’s Office late last year, R.M. paid Heyliger US $300,000 for the purchase of real estate – $260,000 via Caribbean Advice and Consultancy Ltd. and $40,000 through Advanced Consultech SA – to persuade Heyliger to award government contracts to dredging company Devcon TCI Ltd. and construction company Volker Construction International BV/Volker Stevin Caribbean NV.

The Prosecutor’s Office is holding Heyliger responsible for accepting bribes of $300,000 in total, “knowing or reasonably suspecting that this was offered to him in order to persuade him to act in violation of his duty,” it was stated in R.M.’s indictment.

R.M. was also accused of the attempted bribery of other government officials. Between August 23, 2006, and August 20, 2018, he is said to have paid sums of money originating from construction and dredging companies such as Ballast Nedam International BV, Devcon, Windward Roads and Volker Construction/Volker Stevin, to one or more civil servants to persuade them to award government contracts to these companies.

These crimes were allegedly committed in St. Maarten, the former Netherlands Antilles, the Netherlands, Anguilla, the Isle of Man, Panama, and St. Kitts and Nevis, the indictment stated.

R.M. is also suspected of money laundering in the amount of NAf. 8,987,532, from January 1, 1997, and of having failed to file income tax, turnover tax and profit tax from August 23, 2006.

R.M. was arrested by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service FIOD in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on August 23, 2018, at the TBO’s request and was flown to St. Maarten last year for questioning in the Larimar case. The offices of Windward Roads in St. Maarten were searched last year in connection with this investigation and its director J.B. was arrested.

Also, recently R.E. and Heyliger’s family member G.P. were arrested in connection with this case.

Read more on the background of the case from an earlier Daily Herald publication.


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