Labels story in Today as “malicious” and “slander” – Minister Duncan denies brothel-ownership

POSTED: 11/19/12 1:51 PM

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Roland Duncan denied his involvement with the Seaman’s Club brothel in Sucker Garden in an interview with radio host Lloyd Richardson yesterday. “I am not the owner of a whorehouse,” Duncan said, calling a report that appeared in this newspaper last week Wednesday “malicious and slanderous.”

        Today reported last week about a court case Hypnotic Hotel and Entertainment NV lost against Richbenzwan N.V. – a company doing business as the Seaman’s Club. Hypnotic is currently operating the Seaman’s Club

Documents obtained from the public registry of the Chamber of Commerce show that Duncan and Brandon Management and Collection Services NV and the Duncan Pension Fund Foundation were registered on February 9, 2009 as the directors of Hypnotic with full authority.

“I am not managing any business whatsoever,” the minister said yesterday in Richardson’s People’s Voice radio talk show.

“If you are an owner or an investor it becomes dirty,” Duncan continued. “The only people who may own anything in St. Maarten are probably foreigners.”

“A brothel may be not the nicest place to look at – and I am not an owner of any brothel – but it is a business, a legitimate business. All brothels in St. Maarten have a license and those that don’t will be shut down. We can moralize about this but sometimes you ask yourself – wait a minute; what are we trying to do here. Bring down a human being?” Duncan said.

The minister labeled the story in Today as “malicious, incorrect and erroneous; but deliberately malicious.”

If Today had really checked the Chamber of Commerce, the minister continued, “They would see that I am not a manager of Duncan and Brandon Real Estate.”

This claim was never made in the story.

Minister Duncan also addressed the involvement of the Duncan Pension Fund Foundation. “Then you mention a pension fund. The pension fund is a foundation – it does not have any owners. That I am tied to a pension fund – what is wrong with that?”

The minister announced that he will react to the story “in a legal way. “I am getting sick and tired of insinuations and editorials about violating the constitution. They are breaching a lot of my privacy in a malicious way. Sooner or later we are going to deal with it. It is slander, pure slander.”

I have been divesting myself of all managerial situations since 2006,” the minister said. “I have been through four screenings, and I don’t need the government to live or to eat. I don’t mind the scrutiny, but that is different from slander.”

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