“Politicians knew about plan to assassinate Wiels” says the Report in NRC Handelsblad

wiels dead

TSXM – WILLEMSTAD – Politicians in Curacao knew about the plan to assassinate Pueblo Soberano-leader Helmin Wiels. Tom-Jan Meeus reports in NRC Handelsblad that the prosecutor’s office in Curacao has “strong indications” that this is the case.

Sources confirmed the story to Meeus, who travelled to the Antilles last week in the press delegation with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The sources declined to name the politicians and emphasized that the prior knowledge does not mean that these politicians commissioned the murder.

The sources told Meeus that the prior knowledge is illustrative for “the close relation” between politicians and criminals in the gambling industry, real estate and the harbor on the island. Several of these entrepreneurs are known to finance political parties, NRC reported.

The leftwing-populist Wiels, leader of Curacao’s largest party Pueblo Soberano, was assassinates in May on the beach at Marie Pompoen in Willemstad.

According to NRC, the investigation into the killing pays special attention to the rift between Wiels and Gerrit Schotte, who was the prime Minister in a coalition with Wiels until September of last year.

“Schotte, now leader of the opposition, has been discredited by relations with a member of an infamous Italian mafia-family and a gambling king from Sint Maarten who is suspected of money laundering,” the newspaper wrote with a thinly veiled reference to Atlantis-owner Francesco Corallo and Robbie’s Lottery owner Robbie dos Santos (who is, by the way, not from St. Maarten but from Curacao).

Dos Santos has to appear in court this fall for tax evasion and laundering gambling revenue. “The draft summons is ready,” someone close to the investigation told NRC. Prosecutor Leomar Angela leads the investigation.

According to NRC, the name of Dos Santos has been linked before to the Wiels-assassination, but he has denied any involvement. According to “judicial sources”, Dos Santos was the man who set up the contact between Schotte and the Italian mafia.

Sources expect that the Dos Santos-trial will cause quite a stir in Curacao, because of details about Dos Santos’ relation with politicians.

In the meantime investigators have a complete picture of the suspects that executed the Wiels-assassination. They are members of the NLS-street gang. NLS stands for No Limit soldiers; they are from the Koraal Specht district. NS also uses the names The True Unlimited and The Red Untouchables, according to NRC.

The gang occupies itself with assassinations for the highest bidders; they are also active in the Netherlands, especially in Zoetermeer. This is where police earlier arrested a man nicknamed Petru as a suspect in the murder of a man nicknamed Bolle who is in turn suspected of direct involvement in the Wiels-killing. He reportedly rented the car the killers used to flee the crime scene.

Other unnamed sources told NRC that tensions within the street gang have risen over the Wiels-killing. The leaders are outraged because they were not informed beforehand. Another beef is that the executioners received only a small part of the money the principals paid for the murder.

Detectives did house searches at five different addresses last week in the vicinity of Petru’s house. The results were reportedly disappointing. This week the judge of instruction decided about Petru’s prolonged detention.

NLS and competing gangs caused an increase in the number of liquidations during the past couple of years. The low point was 2011 when between fifteen and twenty people from the criminal scene were murdered.

Detectives told NRC “crime and the governments of Curacao and Sint Maarten have become interwoven,” adding that Dos Santos lives in St. Maarten. “His business relation in the Italian mafia, who also has contacts with the largest party in St. Maarten, is the same man with whom Schotte maintains contacts,” the paper wrote, careful to omit the name of Francesco Corallo and the United People’s party.

“Under Schotte an employee of the mafia-boss was nominated as supervisor for the Central Bank of Curacao. The nomination was later withdrawn,” the NRC-story concludes.

The newspaper refers in this slot remark to Rudolf Baetsen, the Chief Financial Officer at the Atlantis World Group. He was nominated as a candidate to the board of the Central Bank by Schotte, but when this caused too much controversy, Baetsen personally withdrew his candidacy.

The King of the Netherlands brother Prince Friso passed away

prince-friso-of-the-netherlands

TSXM -THE HAGUE – Prince Friso passed away at the age of 44 at Paleis Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, the government information service RVD announced yesterday afternoon around 3 p.m. The second son of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus died from “complications that occurred due to the brain damage that was caused by an oxygen deficit during his skiing-accident on February 17, 2012 in Lech, Austria.”

No information was immediately available about funeral arrangements. Princess Mabel celebrated her 45th birthday at her husband’s bedside the day before his passing. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima return from their vacation in Greece. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also cuts his vacation short. Friso’s death is “of an intense sadness,” Rutte said in a first reaction. Other politicians also reacted with sadness to the news.

Prince Friso was buried under an avalanche on February 17 of last year during the royal family’s annual skiing vacation. In spite of warnings about possible avalanches Friso went skiing that day with a friend. He was buried for 25 minutes under the snow without access to oxygen and he fell into a coma. After rescue workers freed the prince from the snow he was taken to the Landeskrankenhaus, a hospital in Innsbruck where doctors reanimated him for fifty minutes. It became clear pretty quickly that Friso had sustained brain damage.

In March 2012 Friso was transferred to the Wellington hospital in his place of residence London. Starting in November of last year, Friso showed minimal signs of consciousness – a condition that has not changed anymore after that.

At the beginning of last month, Friso was transferred to Paleis Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. The RVD reported at the time that Friso would spend the summer months with his family. During his stay in the Netherlands an assessment would be made of his long-term care. The family did not exclude the possibility that the prince would remain in the Netherlands.

During the past one-and-a-half year Beatrix traveled regularly to London to visit her son in the hospital. In the RVD-announcement about Friso’s death the royal family thanks “all those who have taken care of Prince Friso warmly for the excellent and dedicated care.”

In the Netherlands a medical team led by Professor Jan van Gijn and dr. Michael Kuiper – both neurologists – looked after Friso. Van Gijn is specialized in brain-vascular diseases and he knows a lot about chronic, unexplained complaints.

Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg was born on September 25, 1968 in Utrecht as the second son of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus von Amsberg. His brother Willem-Alexander was one-and-a-half years old at the time of his birth. One year later they got another brother, Prince Constantijn.

Prince Johan Friso, as he was called until 2004, grew up in Lage Vuursche, art of the municipality of Baarn in the province of Utrecht. The family lived at the Drakensteyn castle that Beatrix had bought in 1959. When Queen Juliana abdicated in 1980 and Beatrix succeeded her, the family moved to Paleis Huis ten Bosch in The Hague.

Friso studied in The Hague at the First Liberal Christian High school. In 1986 he passed his exam for vwo-b. He was also an avid sportsman, from a very young age he was on skis in Lech in Austria, a hobby that would later become his undoing.

After high school the Prince went to the prestigious University of California in Berkeley near San Francisco. Two years later he returned to the Netherlands as mechanical engineer. In 1994 he graduated from the technical University delft as an engineer in aviation and space technology. At the same time he graduated from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam in business administration.

After his studies Friso worked for several companies. At the business-bank Goldman Sachs he became vice-president investment banking. After several other jobs he became the financial director of Urenco, the British-Dutch producer of enriched uranium.

In 2003 Queen Beatrix announced Friso’s engagement with Mabel Wisse Smit. The Second Chamber approved of a marriage, but things changed when it appeared that Mabel had had contacts with Klaas Bruinsma, a notorious drugs criminal who was liquidated by Martin Hoogland, a policeman turned Mafioso, in June 1991.

In the nineties Mabel also maintained a close relationship with Muhamed Sacirbey, a former ambassador for Bosnia at the United Nations. When accusations about embezzlement against Sacirbey surfaced, Mabel distanced herself from him.

The relationship with Bruinsma – though not a love affair – was too much for Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and he refused to give permission for the marriage. Friso stuck to Mabel and married her on April 24, 2004, but it cost him his membership of the royal household. Prince Friso and Princess Mabel have two children: Luana (2005) and Zaria (2006).

The RVD opened a digital condolence-register at Koninklijkhuis.nl yesterday afternoon.

 

“Politicians knew about plan to assassinate Wiels” says the Report in NRC Handelsblad

wiels dead

TSXM – WILLEMSTAD – Politicians in Curacao knew about the plan to assassinate Pueblo Soberano-leader Helmin Wiels. Tom-Jan Meeus reports in NRC Handelsblad that the prosecutor’s office in Curacao has “strong indications” that this is the case.

Sources confirmed the story to Meeus, who travelled to the Antilles last week in the press delegation with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The sources declined to name the politicians and emphasized that the prior knowledge does not mean that these politicians commissioned the murder.

The sources told Meeus that the prior knowledge is illustrative for “the close relation” between politicians and criminals in the gambling industry, real estate and the harbor on the island. Several of these entrepreneurs are known to finance political parties, NRC reported.

The leftwing-populist Wiels, leader of Curacao’s largest party Pueblo Soberano, was assassinates in May on the beach at Marie Pompoen in Willemstad.

According to NRC, the investigation into the killing pays special attention to the rift between Wiels and Gerrit Schotte, who was the prime Minister in a coalition with Wiels until September of last year.

“Schotte, now leader of the opposition, has been discredited by relations with a member of an infamous Italian mafia-family and a gambling king from Sint Maarten who is suspected of money laundering,” the newspaper wrote with a thinly veiled reference to Atlantis-owner Francesco Corallo and Robbie’s Lottery owner Robbie dos Santos (who is, by the way, not from St. Maarten but from Curacao).

Dos Santos has to appear in court this fall for tax evasion and laundering gambling revenue. “The draft summons is ready,” someone close to the investigation told NRC. Prosecutor Leomar Angela leads the investigation.

According to NRC, the name of Dos Santos has been linked before to the Wiels-assassination, but he has denied any involvement. According to “judicial sources”, Dos Santos was the man who set up the contact between Schotte and the Italian mafia.

Sources expect that the Dos Santos-trial will cause quite a stir in Curacao, because of details about Dos Santos’ relation with politicians.

In the meantime investigators have a complete picture of the suspects that executed the Wiels-assassination. They are members of the NLS-street gang. NLS stands for No Limit soldiers; they are from the Koraal Specht district. NS also uses the names The True Unlimited and The Red Untouchables, according to NRC.

The gang occupies itself with assassinations for the highest bidders; they are also active in the Netherlands, especially in Zoetermeer. This is where police earlier arrested a man nicknamed Petru as a suspect in the murder of a man nicknamed Bolle who is in turn suspected of direct involvement in the Wiels-killing. He reportedly rented the car the killers used to flee the crime scene.

Other unnamed sources told NRC that tensions within the street gang have risen over the Wiels-killing. The leaders are outraged because they were not informed beforehand. Another beef is that the executioners received only a small part of the money the principals paid for the murder.

Detectives did house searches at five different addresses last week in the vicinity of Petru’s house. The results were reportedly disappointing. This week the judge of instruction decided about Petru’s prolonged detention.

NLS and competing gangs caused an increase in the number of liquidations during the past couple of years. The low point was 2011 when between fifteen and twenty people from the criminal scene were murdered.

Detectives told NRC “crime and the governments of Curacao and Sint Maarten have become interwoven,” adding that Dos Santos lives in St. Maarten. “His business relation in the Italian mafia, who also has contacts with the largest party in St. Maarten, is the same man with whom Schotte maintains contacts,” the paper wrote, careful to omit the name of Francesco Corallo and the United People’s party.

“Under Schotte an employee of the mafia-boss was nominated as supervisor for the Central Bank of Curacao. The nomination was later withdrawn,” the NRC-story concludes.

The newspaper refers in this slot remark to Rudolf Baetsen, the Chief Financial Officer at the Atlantis World Group. He was nominated as a candidate to the board of the Central Bank by Schotte, but when this caused too much controversy, Baetsen personally withdrew his candidacy.

IS ST MAARTEN ON THE LINE – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says “If you want out, give me a call”

MARK RUTTE-SXM GOVERNMENT - ILANDVIBEZ-ST MAARTEN HOLLAND

GREAT BAY – Telegraaf-journalist Ruud Mikkers, who toured the Antilles last week with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and a trade mission caused quite a stir in the Netherlands on Saturday with a front-page story under the ominous headline “Antilles on the line” (Antillen op de wip) that suggested that as far as Rutte is concerned the autonomous countries and the BES-islands could severe their ties with the Netherlands immediately if they wanted to.

Mikkers reported that Rutte made the remark “behind the scenes” and that island-politicians had looked at him rather surprised when they heard his opinion. “If you call me tomorrow that you want out, we will immediately take care of it,” the Dutch Prime Minister was quoted as saying.

The story triggered more than 300 reactions on the online edition of the newspaper; quite some readers pointed out that it is up to the islands to take a decision about their status within or outside the Kingdom. Others cheered the statement and demanded that the Netherlands “stops the development aid” and that if the countries want to be independent they have to stand on their own feet. In reality, Rutte said already at a press conference on Wednesday, that the book on debt relief (perceived as development aid in the Netherlands) is closed.

Tom-Jan Meeus brought Rutte’s statement with the correct nuance. “Prime Minister Rutte told the islands in Caribbean Netherlands this week behind the scenes that if they wish to do this, they are able to leave the Kingdom at any moment: “they looked at me with surprise. I said: if you want out, and a majority of your population supports that, then it is possible. Then you give me a call and we arrange it.”

On Wednesday, Rutte said at a press conference in Philipsburg that he does not want to talk about constitutional reform anymore. Meeus quoted him as saying: “I said in private: if we ever talk about policy, I’ll only do it if you want to get out of the Kingdom.”

The Dutch daily Trouw picked up the story and quoted a reaction from D66-leader Alexander Pechtold, who once told this newspaper that St. Maarten is “not on the radar” of politicians in The Hague. Pechtold told the NOS that Rutte’s statement is “for a historian improper, and for a prime minister not very diplomatic.” According to the D66-leader, Rutte’s words were meant for the home front “because he knows people like to hear this.”

The Netherlands has a history of 400 years with the islands and the prime minister has a duty to put his thoughts carefully into words ad something like this about Limburg, all hell would have broken loose.”

NRC Handelsblad reported that Rutte saved his harshest criticism for St. Maarten where he “made agreements about a thorough investigation into the government’s integrity.” The story fails to report that Rutte appreciated the fact that Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams had already taken the initiative to contact anti-corruption Watchdog Transparency International for a national integrity assessment.

Tom-Jan Meeus furthermore writes that the minister of justice had to step down “because he turned out to be the manager of several brothels.” It also appeared, Meeus wrote, that the island’s parliamentarians have a monthly salary of €9,000 ($10,800), “the highest in the Kingdom.” According to Meeus Rutte recommended that the parliament reopen the debate about this issue. However, at Wednesday’s press conference, Rutte emphasized that it was not up to him to comment on the salaries. Today already revealed the salaries shortly after the territory obtained country status in October 2010.