Aruba Nu, a website with news about Aruba, in seven languages including simplified Chinese, reported on the activities of the Nos Ta Aruba Foundation recently, stating that it addressed a letter to the Aruban Public Prosecution Service, OM, listing nine possible offenses against former-minister Otmar Oduber, and six satellite associates, accusing them of criminal acts of corruption, abuse of power, self-benefit, self-enrichment, bribe taking, tax evasion, money laundering and the creation and participation in a criminal organization. That’s a mouthful.
The hoopla started earlier this week when MinJust declared to the press he was not paying the former minister who is the head of the POR party represented by MinJust in the coalition, an advisor’s fee via his ministry. I heard a dissonant in that declaration but did not understand it, now I know, there was a report coming down the pipeline with hefty accusations, and the MinJust wanted to steer clean.
Before you go out to buy streamers, cake and champagne, you should know it all depend on the decision of the prosecutor. We need to sit back and wait. Let’s see if he wants to go down that Rabbit Hole, probably as expensive and as tedious as the Ibis and the Ostrich cases. I even thought about potential ugly bird names for the proceedings, Caso Koning Vulture? Or Caso Kalkoen? Which would you prefer.
Anyway, sit tight, let’s see, if there is an appetite for digging into the minister’s life-style and his Carnival group accounting, beside land deals and the Aruba logo proceeds. In the past quite some dirt was slung around the minister, but nothing stuck. He might be Teflon-coated.
A few things come to my mind.
The former minister, no doubt has a dark side to him, which is regrettable, because with his energy and drive he could have been good for Aruba.
His final, hurricane-force reorganization/looting of Serlimar, left us all high and dry and the crippled company in mega debt. It accomplished ZERO for the country. And I will not go further into the above laundry list, let the experts tackle it.
I found three names behind Nos Ta Aruba Foundation, not registered at KVK, Jan de Ruijter, Leo Croes and Alfred M.G. Williams. I wouldn’t call that good company.
Jan de Ruijter, no doubt a tourism pioneer, his later years’ activities, put his earlier accomplishments to shame.
Michael Williams, he’s among the island’s premier bottom-feeders, a delusional instigator, always posturing as a well-connected mover and shaker, all for personal gain. And I am talking from personal experience: I remember during the La Cabana Beach & Racquet Club bankruptcy, the crooked curator conspired to develop a pier and a sizeable promenade with cafes and shops on Eagle Beach secretly flaunting the ace up his sleeve, Williams’ excellent ‘connections’ with the AVP government, literally sliding the deal into his pocket.
Leo Croes? I am not sure, but show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.
Perhaps Nos Ta Aruba Foundation is the instrument to again bring down some untouchables, and expose ugliness, perhaps not. A lot depends on whether OM will find enough cause to investigate based solely on the documents presented. If those don’t build a case for corruption, there will be no ground for further investigation. So, let’s not hold our breath.
GAME CHANGER? Dutch parliamentarian Andre Bosman added his political weight to the stew with a well-documented case of a badly-handled impending calamity at the Bubali water treatment plant, where the former-minister made sure the wife of a certain news ferret raportero was blocked from transfer to another department, and fired. That was the highlight of his stint at the helm. It accomplished ZERO for the country.
I also thought it was a mistake to clump the former-minister with six satellite associates. It might scare OM off, being too much, too broad, too all-encompassing. Or it might take too long to investigate with conclusions coming long after everyone’s interest has died.
An overthrow should focus on just one subject, when it bundles many different heads together, it becomes too big to handle, too complex.
I can hear OM saying, not tonight Josephine, I am exhausted just thinking about it.
The only thing sure is the brave lawyer who drafted the legal papers, he will never get any work from GOA, or Aruba Airlines, or the Hyatt Place or the Village on Palm Beach, or Wine & Dine or the Aruba Private Airport, Fast Delivery, Tierra De Sol, Deloitte, South Beach Center, the reported new boutique hotel at APA’s wharf or Finance Quest.