Schotte and El Hakim have “dubious ties” in St. MaartenPOSTED: 10/18/11 12:25 PM
WILLEMSTAD/GREAT BAY – A revelation that Curacao’s Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte and the Minister of Economic Affairs Abdul Nasser El Hakim have ties with “dubious characters” in St. Maarten forms part of a confidential memo drawn up by the Security Service of Curacao on October 27, 2010. That document has now leaked to the media in Curacao.
The memo, suspected to be one of several, basically concludes that five cabinet ministers including El Hakim do not meet the criteria to be ministers. The other four that failed are Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte, Health and Nature Minister Jacinta Constancia, Transport and Telecommunication Minister Charles Cooper and former Education, Culture and Sport Minister Rene Rosalia. There is no mention in the memo of Finance Minister George Jamaloodin, Social Affairs Minister Hensley Koieman, Justice Minister Elmer Wilsoe and former Planning and Administration Minister Norbert Girigorie.
According to the memo candidate ministers were screened based on whether they’d committed an offense, participated in an anti-democratic group or organization that threatens national security and whether anything in their private lives posed a threat to national security. The ministers referenced did not meet the criteria.
According to the memo Schotte is involved in several activities that threaten national security. This includes extra-marital affairs and collusion with local and international lenders. He also has close ties with figures like Francesco Corallo of Atlantis World Group that operates a casino in St. Maarten. El Hakim is also reported as having dubious ties in St. Maarten though no one is named. The report also zooms in on the close relationship between Schotte and El Hakim. The latter of which has a membership with Amel – a Lebanese group that has links to the terrorist organization Hezbollah
The memo further states that Schotte served as a go between for companies with the Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Development Reginald Lak. His work was to ensure that their requests were promptly handled. The list of aided companies includes one linked to the now Cooper. The report also states that Schotte took two million guilders from Robbie dos Santos so the latter could secure a piece of land at Playa Abou. Cooper was also reportedly part of that deal, but only got 400, 000 guilders.
Schotte is further named as a forger in connection with an insurance claim at Fatum after a burglary.
The memo also states that Cooper did odd jobs for Curacaoalenean businessman Boy Luckert and was also his business partner, though this was never referenced in official documents.
The memo states that Rosalia was a womanizer, staunch supporter of communism and that he would give certain groups preferential treatment while he served as Director of the Culture Foundation (Kas di Kultura). The memo further states that Rosalia was not always up front with the foundation’s finances. A court would later state that there is not enough evidence to prove that Rosalia made undesired sexual advances on his female colleagues.
Minister Constancia actually has a criminal record, having been convicted of forgery in 2005 over problems with justifying expenses made by her foundation and for falsifying her college degree as a legal assistant. The conviction included a suspended sentence and two years of community service.