photo: Leoni Leidel-Schenk

WILLEMSTAD – “My interest are not taken into account, only the Netherlands and its priorities. I waited a year. My story doesn’t seem to matter”, Emsley Tromp commented on the second day of the pre-trial review in the Saffier case. The president of the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS), who is non-active at the moment, is suspected of tax fraud and money laundering outside of the bank.

Tromp’s lawyer Niels van der Laan requested Judge Tjarda van der Spoel to declare the position of the Public Prosecutor’s Office inadmissible. “It mainly concerns a fiscal difference of insight, and no tax fraud”, said lawyer Van der Laan on Tuesday. According to the lawyer, Tromp may pay a tax difference tomorrow. But the judge is of the opinion that the case should be further investigated, with a statement from the suspect.

‘Political persecution’
Tromp channeled money for the benefit of private pension funds. The ‘damage’ caused to Curaçao is estimated at 5.5 million guilders. According to Tromp and its defense this case is a ‘political persecution’ instructed by the Netherlands. Attorney General Henk van der Werff rejects this. “The Prosecutors Office works for the country Curaçao and not for the Netherlands.”

The Saffier-investigation is being executed by the Team Bestrijding Ondermijning (TBO). The Netherlands made 22 million available for TBO. The aim of the TBO is to conduct large-scale research into the interconnection of the underground world of Curaçao and St. Maarten.

Stories in the media
Local media reports about Tromp’s private finances were previously published. For example, a loan of 3 million guilders was granted without collateral on his former girlfriend’s clothing company. Part of it, $400,000, would have been referred to his own pension fund.

The defense wanted to declare this case inadmissible, because the investigation into Tromp has been launched ‘only on the basis of these media reports’ and because the Prosecutors Office ‘has not considered in the investigation’ the IRS. On the argument of the media reports, Van der Werff does says: “Why not, if these communications are well documented?”

Tromp was also discredited in the summer of 2016 after a publication in the Financieele Dagblad. The newspaper saw a secret report from the Dutch Bank. It would appear that insurer Ennia collapsed under the supervision of the Central Bank, which was led by Tromp since 1991. Tromp started a specially wrapped personal in responds, reference a defamation campaign against his person.

The case will continue in the court of Willemstad on 26 and 27 oktober.