Ex-Prime Minister suspected of money laundering: Raid at house Gerrit Schotte

POSTED: 12/11/13 6:35 PM

Curacao – Law enforcement officers raided the house of former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte early on Monday morning. At the same time, a raid took place at the headquarters of Schotte’s party MFK – Movementu Futuro Kòrsou. Speculation was running roughshod after news of the raid broke and rumors spread that the raids had to do with the Helmin Wiels assassination, but the prosecutor’s office later in the day said that Schotte is suspected of money laundering and forgery.

Remarkably, journalists had been made aware of the raid, so they were quickly on the scene,. “The neighbor of the former Prime Minister heard heavy pounding at around a quarter to seven in the morning,” Caribisch Netwerk correspondent Dick Drayer reported. “When he went to have a look he saw that Gerrit Schotte’s garden was jammed with police officers and members of the Detective Collaboration Team RST.” The neighbor said that officers used violence during the raid.

Norman Serphos, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, confirmed that law enforcement conducted raids elsewhere as well. A Papiamento radio station was quick to link the raids to the assassination of Pueblo Soberano leader Helmin Wiels, but Serphos denied this.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the raids have to do with an investigation into a large number of unusual financial transactions the former prime minister made between 2008 and 2010. The citizens movement FAS filed a complaint about these transactions last year. One of the accusations is that Schotte reportedly received money from Francesco Corallo, owner of the gaming emporium Atlantis World Group and Giocolegale Bplus, a company that holds thousands of concessions for video lottery terminals in Italy.

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