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Dutch detectives on Bonaire to question politicians Booi & El Hage

FRIDAY, 01 MARCH 2013

BONAIRE–A group of Dutch detectives is on Bonaire to interrogate Ramonsito Booi and Burney El Hage (both UPB), confirmed one of their attorneys Everett Wilsoe. They scheduled five days for Booi and three for El Hage.

The lawyers are present during the sessions and according to Wilsoe the clients are calm. “They have always been labelled as suspects but never heard,” he said.

In September last year the Joint Court of Justice issued an order to prosecute the duo even though the prosecution saw no reason to, because there is a good chance they may be found guilty. It regards a probe into possible fraud with the issuing of land by Booi and a mortgage for El Hage.

Almost three years after their homes were searched and following lengthy judicial procedures on whether or not to halt the investigation, the court is looking into the complaint by “Fundashon Bon Gobernashon” (Foundation Good Governance) in its “black book” on alleged corruption.

In the case of Booi it regards forgery detected in Sunset Beach Hotel file on a land deal between Booi’s Prefab NV and Kralendijk Real Estate BV for two parcels. The transfer act of September 14, 2006 mentioned a sales price of 450,000 guilders, while the actual value was between 0.9 and 1 million. The prosecution received documents from Girobank showing that the real sales price was NAf 950,000.

In the case of El Hage it involves supplying banks false information regarding the first and second mortgage loans for his home of 375,000 guilders at Maduro and Curiel’s Bank (MCB) on January 25, 2008 and 565,000 guilders at Banco di Caribe on November 16, 2009.

In January 2012 the court gave the prosecution a July deadline to complete the so-called Zambezi investigation against the duo, after having ruled earlier that it should be halted in a case filed by the suspects. However, the foundation was able to file an objection against that ruling which was awarded, so that the probe could resume after all.

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