Bada Bing boss Van den Heuvel tells his story “Theo Heyliger asked me to make that video”

POSTED: 03/11/13 12:21 AM

Jaap van den Heuvel: “I am very sorry for what I have done.” Photo contributed.

Jaap van den Heuvel: “I am very sorry for what I have done.” Photo contributed.

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Bada Bing-owner Jaap van den Heuvel made the video that apparently shows how independent MP Patrick Illidge accepts a bribe at the request of United People’s party leader Theo Heyliger. That is the explanation Van den Heuvel, who is in the Netherlands at the moment, gave to this newspaper yesterday afternoon in an exclusive interview by phone.
“I gave the recording to Theo, and he gave it to the Daily Herald,” Van den Heuvel said. “He asked me to start with Patrick about Marlin and he was going to use that to bring Patrick back to his side.”
Van den Heuvel – who consulted his attorney Cor Merx before deciding to go public with his story – said that UP-leader Heyliger was very angry when Illidge left the coalition. In the 2010 elections, Illidge won 593 votes on the ticket of the National Alliance, but declared himself soon independent and threw his support behind the combination of Heyliger’s UP and the Democratic Party. During the calypso coup in April of last year however, Illidge joined forces with former UP faction leader Romain Laville and former National Alliance MP Frans Richardson. The three independents dropped their support for the UP and formed a new coalition with the National Alliance and, again, the DP.
“Theo was very angry and he spoke with many people about this, also with me. He said he would do everything to correct this so that he could return to politics. First he attempted to buy back Romain Laville for, according to me, $135,000 and when that did not work he came to ask me for a favor.”
Van den Heuvel said yesterday that Heyliger came to him with the story that he – Van den Heuvel – had paid Illidge for a permit. “I said that this was not so, but that I borrowed money from Patrick in 2011 and that he came to me regularly to pick it up piece by piece.”
According to Van den Heuvel, Heyliger then asked him to record his next meeting with Illidge and to question him about Vice Prime Minister Marlin. “He knew there were problems between Marlin and Illidge. That was the only part Theo was going to use – to get Patrick back on his side.”
Van den Heuvel also explained how the video ended up at the offices of the Daily Herald: “The images where I repay my loan to Patrick would be removed from the video by Theo’s friend Michael Granger at the Daily Herald.”
The Bada Bing-boss said that Heyliger left St. Maarten just before the story broke. “They played this politically. Theo thought that he would let this fire run its course and that he would be able to go and sit on his chair again when he came back.”
Justice Minister Roland Duncan has nothing to do with the whole affair, Van den Heuvel said. “I need a permit for the change of address of my business,” he said.”That has to come from the Minister of Economic Affairs, Romeo Pantophlet. I complained to Patrick about that I paid already in 2006 for this permit and Economic Affairs does not do anything. For that permit I paid to the government.”

Van den Heuvel is particularly upset about the reports that appeared in the Dutch daily The Telegraaf that reported that he was after a permit for a new brothel called Neverland. But Neverland is an existing bar and restaurant adjacent to Bada Bing. “It is the same company, but it is outside of bada Bing. We always advertise with the restaurant as “next to Bada Bing. And I don’t need another permit for Neverland.”
Van den Heuvel said that he has a permit for the whole building on Sr. Patienta Road in Simpson Bay. “I did ask Patrick about an extension for the girls who were working at Bada Bing at the time. They are allowed to stay for six months and I normally do not want them any longer either. But this way they would just miss the Heineken Regatta. If you put in a normal request for a limited extension you sometimes get it; and sometimes you don’t.”

Van den Heuvel explicitly stated that he never paid anything to anybody for his permits. “But it is true that I borrowed money from Patrick. There is still 5,000 guilders open at the moment.”
He added that he has nothing to hide: “They are free to look at everything. They took the cameras and computers from the club, but they also took all the change, like $700 in singles.”
Van den Heuvel said that Bada Bing is a healthy company that pays monthly around $20,000 in taxes and premiums. “My administration is in order; I do not have offshore accounts,” he said.
The Bada Bing-boss is a long time friend of MP Illidge and of UP-leader Theo Heyliger and the situation has put him in an awkward position. Will things ever return to normal between the friends?
“I spoke with Patrick and he was obviously very upset. I have told him my story as I have told it to you. I cannot leave somebody who is innocent out there on the front pages. He is very disappointed. He told me: be a man and do your thing. That is what I am doing now.”

On Tuesday, Van den Heuvel will return to St. Maarten in spite of the fact that he received information from the Dutch intelligence service that his life could be in danger in St. Maarten. “I come back to tell my story. I know that I am telling the truth. Patrick is a good friend and I have known Heyliger for a long time as well. But I am not taking part in political games. I would be better off if I said: Illidge is corrupt, but that is not so. Heyliger wants to come back in politics, no matter what.”
Van den Heuvel said that his friendship with Illidge dates back to before his political career took off.”Our children went to school together, he helped me with all my problems when my marriage failed and I have done this to him. I am really very sorry for what I have done.”

The video in question:

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