Published On: Mon, Jul 18th, 2022

Gibson defiant about bribery-insinuations

PHILIPSBURG — The Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten (CBCS) and the ENNIA companies say that there are “indications of bribery” of former Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr. But Gibson states in a reaction that “it takes a very devious and warped mind to link the golden parachute payment I received in 2014 to my appointment as Minister of Finance in 2015.”

The Antilliaans Dagblad reports that Gibson stepped down in 2014 as a member of the supervisory board of ENNIA Caribe Holding and that he received a golden parachute payment of 2 million guilders (around $1.1 million). “Altogether Gibson received 7.8 million ($4.35 million) during the period before the Central bank intervened and placed ENNIA under the emergency measure,” the newspaper writes.

But there is more to this story. In a reaction Gibson notes that in 2014, he resigned from the ENNIA operating companies in Curacao and Aruba (life, loss and healthcare), as the chairman of Banco di Caribe in Curacao and Aruba, and as a supervisory board member of ECH.

Gibson points out that he was “general legal counsel for all of these companies and that he was available 24/7 to their boards of managing directors and to the chairman of the board of ECH as a lawyer with more than fifty years of experience.”

Management of ENNIA and the ultimate beneficial owner (Hushang Ansary) gave Gibson when he left in 2014 his golden parachute payment. “Around fifty percent of that amount was deducted in taxes and paid to the government,” Gibson states.

After he stepped down from his ENNIA- and Banco di Caribe-related functions, the United People’s party (UP) approached Gibson to become Minister of Finance, but this did not work out. A year later the National Alliance approached him for the same function and this time Gibson accepted.

Referring to this chain of events, Gibson considers it a stretch to link the payment he received in 2014 from ENNIA to the political office he held later.

The Antilliaans Dagblad-article states that the payments to Gibson have become current again because of the Central Bank’s intention to intervene at Sun Resorts, the formal owner of Mullet Bay that is also ENNIA’s largest investment.

The article concedes that Gibson is not a suspect in the liability-procedure against Ansary and other former ENNIA-managers. “But as a supervisory director he played an important role in the Ansary/ENNIA-dossier and the Central Bank has put him on a waiting list.”

The newspaper furthermore notes that the Central Bank and the ENNIA-companies are suspicious of the golden parachute payment to Gibson “because he became Minister of Finance and later Minister of Justice after his departure, but Gibson has now refuted that there is a connection between these events. Mullet Bay is, as the Central Bank points out, located in St. Maarten and it is the largest ENNIA-investment but how this relates to bribing Gibson remains unclear.

Gibson remains defiant in his statement. He points out that the article does not detail what the perceived bribery is about. “And, by the way, what exactly constitutes indication of bribery? Is it anything you can fabricate to try to tarnish someone’s reputation? It is regrettable that news organizations employ these questionable tactics.”


Related articles:
Richard Gibson Sr. response to article in Antilliaans Dagblad
Article in the Antilliaans Dagblad