Raided by a special combo of law enforcement teams, eleven addresses in a case called Ostrich, or avestrus, in Papiamento

I was away early October and missed the hoopla as caso avestrus unfurled on October 2nd.

You never wrote about the Ostrich, urged one of my readers, do it, it’s not an old story, it’s ongoing, see what you can find out, your readers want to know.

So dear readers: What we have been hoping for, not for spite but in the name of good governance, happened.

There were plenty of stories in circulation about the former MinInfra granting terrain for hotels, condominiums and apartments by his mere signature, 2009-2017, while totally paralyzing and neutralizing all government procedures. There were also plenty of stories in circulation about middle-men/women out of enrich themselves by selling that terrain.  

We realized that a very efficient source of land was available, for the charm of a check while the legitimate apparatus was kaput.

Frustrated we waited as the MinInfra, after 8 years of pilfering became an opposition parliamentarian, blabbering at press conference, getting aired, getting paid, while our strong suspicions of malfeasance were never addressed.

Then on October 2nd from 6:30am, an operation with surgical precision, orchestrated by top forensic and cyber security specialists from the Netherlands, the islands and Aruba raided ELEVEN locations.

You should know that in order to initiate these legal home and business raids, the team must have been in possession of good, sustainable intelligence.

And subsequently we read that their initial findings ranged from terrible to horrific, including falsification, unlawful self-enrichment, the illegal sale of national patrimony, several charges of corruption, and abuse of power, etc.

The detective, a prosecutor and the RST agents, a special police taskforce, worked a full day visiting The Village Mall on Palm Beach, and the home of Karim & Maurice Neme, developers of several condo project in prime locations; the home and abandoned office of the former minister; the headquarters of Fast Delivery, owned by an inner-circle confidant of several ministers; the home of radio personality Leoncita Arends, a strong supporter and the mouth-piece of the outgoing political party; and the home of Gaby Werleman whose wife was involved with another unfortunate case, IBIS, focusing on a former minister, Paul Croes. They also visited the home of Freddy Every, who was part of the allegedly corrupt operators at the land department.

I never heard the name of F. Abath mentioned, perhaps digging in his dirty laundry basket would have been redundant.

Overseas, agents visited Angel Gomez Osorio, in Curacao, a tax guy and the uncle of the wife of Gaby Werleman, so now you know that somehow, somewhere, the Ibis and the Ostrich are related. Perhaps birds of a feather flock together.

The team also gained access to records at DIP, Directie Infrastructura en Planning, though all players had time to clean up their act, purge, shred, burn, delete and erase records, I hope government servers have solid memories and security systems, capable of withstanding tampering.

Does this make me happy? No. I would love to have honest people at the helm. But now that they are seriously investigating, people will go to jail, though there is no real satisfaction in that.

I fear for Aruba. One rotten apple, contaminated the whole basket.

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October 21, 2019
Rona Coster
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