Opinion: Curve ball

POSTED: 12/11/13 6:53 PM

The Dutch newspaper Telegraaf is at it again. Have you heard that there is some sort of scandal going on at the national intelligence service VDSM? Yes, thank you, we know that.

The Telegraaf has now discovered that VDSM-chief James Richardson camped out for four months at the Tamarind Hotel. Okay, we did not know that, but what else is new?

A lot, according to the story by Telegraaf-reporter Bart Olmer. Here is the first curve ball: Richardson went to ground in the Tamarind hotel because he feared for his life. Olmer mentions the Vesuvius-investigation – the investigation into the deadly war between the drugs gangs of Miguel Arrindell and Amador and Omar Jones.

Miguel Arrindell is of course deceased and so is Amador Jones. His brother Omar and his hit man Carlos Richardson were arrested in November 2011 and they are currently serving a life sentence for multiple murders and membership of a criminal organization. How these people could pose a threat to James Richardson, who is not involved in criminal investigations, is a mystery, but Olmer seems to know all about it.

Another interesting detail in Olmer’s story refers to “a notorious Italian businessman” and that his suspension came about after he discovered corruption among local politicians that had ties with this character. Here is the kicker in the story: Richardson gave a negative advice about “the admission of this businessman to an important financial institution.”

Apparently Olmer does not feel straight enough in his shoes to mention the name of Atlantis World Group owner Francesco Corallo. It is safer to write about “a notorious Italian businessman.”

And what about this negative advice about “the admission of this businessman to an important financial institution?” Ah, well, those details do not concern the Telegraaf. Here are the facts: Curacao’s Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte proposed Rudolf Baetsen, the chief financial officer of the Atlantis world group as a candidate for the board of the Central Bank. When all hell broke loose, Baetsen withdrew his candidacy. He is not Italian, he is Dutch.

It is true that Schotte also had “an important function” in mind for Corallo, but the nature of that position has never been revealed – and this whole mess had nothing to do with James Richardson. And, by the way, the candidacy of Baetsen for the Central Bank played in the spring of 2011. And that would be the reason for the Government in St. Maarten to suspend Richardson more than two years later, in 2013?

It just does not make a lot of sense but that has never bothered Telegraaf-readers.

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