Quixotic Crime Busters

Stichting Fundacion Nos Ta Aruba, SFNTA, Alfred Michael Glenn Williams, Chairman, and Jan de Ruijter, Board member, are no strangers to the media and the public here.

Over the last few years they have diligently lodged complaints, some stuck, denouncing the alleged trade in permits by the former Minister of Labor, IBIS-case; the alleged issues of many public lands by the former Minister of Infrastructure, Avestruz-case, and the alleged corruption of former Minister of Infrastructure, Flamingo-case. The foundation fussed over the dead-in-the-water Hard Rock-hotel project, and the alleged corruptive process of insuring Aruban students in the Netherlands.

It is MinTVS’ turn now, raked over the coals for the Aruba Visitors’ Health Insurance.

SFNTA alleges the minister arrested the inflow of tourists by corruptively imposing the insurance fee, and thereby Aruba missed out on revenues and economic recovery. The plot cost us millions.

De Ruijter states that this is just another example of GOA’s corruptive ways.

The complaint was handed to the Chief Public Prosecutor on March 3th, and it was titled URGENT. It asked for an investigation of the irreparable damages to Aruba’s economy, tourism, employment, and the consequent poverty and great social unrest.

According to the complaint the exorbitant Covid19 insurance premium levied scared visitors away.

Additionally, the lucrative business was granted to a political party affiliate, which is a serious offense.

And here de Ruijter comes up with an impressive laundry list: Potential corruption, bribery, and preferential treatment, unlawful favoritism and intentional premeditated deception against the general interest of the Arubans, tourism, the economy, at the expense of the people and the soundness and integrity of governance on the island.

He writes a very compelling paper, nicely investigated, naming names, and stating dates.

If you recall a mandatory COVID-19-travel insurance was instituted on July 1st, 2020, at the reopening of the borders.

The premium every tourist was obliged to pay was set at $15.00 per person, per day.

According to SFNTA, this was an extremely expensive charge, out of all proportion for our ‘type’ of traveler. It led to immediate cancellation of reservations.

The question according to SFMTA, and they elaborate on the question in THIRTY long paragraphs, is not whether the insurance was needed, but whether the concerned minister made a sound, transparent and honest decision, in favor of national interest, because the insurance was handed to a company affiliated to the MEP party, since 1995.

SFNTA says the business was awarded after a very dubious tender, where only related, friend and family companies were allowed to compete, no other brokers/agents invited, despite an offer of $2.99 a day, from an unrelated insurance provider.

The lure of $47.000.000 potential profit, was strong.

I asked some friends if the complaint has merit?

  1. Nope
  2. Unless there is proof of payment of baksheesh or something like that, which I doubt there is. Making sweetheart deals with friends and family is part of our political culture and not a criminal offense
  1. He wanted to own Plantation Bay and did not get over the trauma of ‘losing’ it. A few other traumas. But he is persistent and has bad taste in partners, business and otherwise.
  2. A crock of poop.
  3. None of his cases have had merit. Based on valid questions/concerns. But no proof at all. Just the conclusion that the insurance caused “irreparable damage” to tourism. is already absurd. It was too expensive when it was launched, yes. The industry lobbied and got it lower in negotiation with insurance company.
  4. Did they do a valid bid process? Good question. But SFNTA is fun to watch, for sure. A classic example of determination. His motives can be questioned as much as of those he accuses.
  5. De Ruijter played footsie with MinTVS, he wanted to become a paid advisor back in 2017 and when he was turned down he turned. He wanted a seat at the table considering himself Mr Tourism.
  6. Aruba will keep getting abused and plundered by its own government because they have the power to do so. Aruba has nowhere to turn, it has no choice, until the system is changed.

 

Share on:

March 12, 2021
Rona Coster