Atlantis World Group applauds action against Calabrian mafia

POSTED: 07/27/15 7:07 PM

 “Illegal gambling activities give our industry a bad name”

St. Maarten – Agence France Presse reported this week that the suspects Italian authorities arrested during an action against gambling activities of the Calabrian mafia also worked “with licenses in the Netherlands Antilles and Panama.” The authorities put a lien on real estate worth €2 billion with more than 1,500 gambling halls and betting offices in Italy, Austria, Malta, Spain and Romania. Whether there really is a link with the gambling industry in Curacao or St. Maarten remains unclear.

Rudolf Baetsen, the Chief Financial Officer for the Atlantis World Group in Cupecoy told this newspaper yesterday that the action in Italy is directed at illegal online betting websites and illegal gambling activities – not against casino-exploitations.

“We are not active in the online betting sector, nor are we active in any unregulated or illegal gaming activities, and certainly not in activities that are linked to criminal organizations that are supposedly active in this sector. Therefore I can say absolutely nothing meaningful about the alleged link with the Antilles or what this link should refer to.”

Baetsen added that the Atlantis World Group applauds the actions against illegal gambling activities in Italy. “All these illegal activities do is undermine and harm the legal and regulated sector, and give our industry in general a bad name.”

Karola van Nie, the press officer for the Public Prosecutor’s Office in St. Maarten, informed this newspaper in response to questions about the possible link with the Antilles “that the case is handled by the prosecutor’s office in Curacao.”

Norman Serphos, the spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Curacao checked with the prosecutor who coordinates all large cases. “This means nothing to him and nothing to me,” Serphos said. “I am unable to say anything meaningful about this.”

It is possible that the prosecutor’s office is acting on an international request for judicial assistance from the Italian authorities, Serphos added. “I am unable to check this right now, because the prosecutor who deals with these requests is currently not on the island.”

If there is a request for judicial assistance, Serphos noted, “I won’t be able to say much about it anyway, because in that situation it is not our case, but that of the country that submitted the request. Then we do not know what we are allowed to release and for that reason you’d have to turn to the spokesperson of the country that asked for judicial assistance.”

The Italian authorities put a lien on real estate worth €2 billion belonging to the ‘ndrangheta, the mafia in the southern region of Calabria – the ‘heel’ of the country. The authorities confiscated almost sixty companies; eleven of them were active abroad. In the meantime, many suspects have been arrested.

The prosecutor in Calabria issued arrest warrants against 28 civil servants in key positions and imposed house arrest or the obligation to report to the police against 23 others.

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