St. Maarten parasail company involved in large-scale money laundering

POSTED: 02/19/16 4:57 PM

 

ChristelChristel H. runs the parasail company on the boardwalk. Photo website NO1SXM parasailing

St. Maarten News – Local Company NO1SXM Parasailing, established on the Boardwalk in Philipsburg, is at the heart of a large scale investigation into money laundering in the Netherlands. On January 14, police arrested a 64-year-old man Duiven as the main suspect in the investigation. He owns the parasail company together with his daughter Christel H.

In November of last year, investigators did house searches in eight homes in the Netherlands (in Diemen, Amsterdam, Wijdemeren and Delft) and three in St. Maarten, where they seized two parasail boats.

The fiscal intelligence and tracking service in the Netherlands (Fiod) found €120,000 in cash and two kilos of hash in a plastic bag in the father’s resident address in Amsterdam. During a search in a house in Delft investigators found another 240,000 in cash in a suitcase. They also found a gun, ammunition, amphetamine, crystal meth and materials to produce more crystal meth. When the man was finally arrested in January, he had €5,500 in cash on him.

A press release from the prosecutor’s office in Curacao said that the man had an address in Anguilla, that he had no legal income and that he “seemed to live off the wind.” The Fiod thinks the money laundering activities involve as much as €1 million.

The Fiod started its investigation after a report from the Financial Intelligence Unit about a real estate transaction dating back to 2009 where by the father made almost €300,000 by selling real estate through a so-called ABC-transaction. (Hereby party A sells real estate to party B who sells it to party C without ever taking possession of the building).

The suspect used a company of which he is a director through a foundation for this transaction. The Fiod suspects that the company is used for money laundering because there are no legal business activities. The company transferred large sums of money to a company owned by a 65-year- old man in Wijdemeren, a municipality located between Breukelen and Hilversum.

This money stemmed from cash deposits. Part of it was then transferred to the company of Christel H. in St. Maarten. Christel H. and the man from Wijdemeren are suspected of helping the main suspect to launder tons of money through their companies.

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