Published On: Wed, May 18th, 2022

Mark Mingo: “I have done nothing wrong”

PHILIPSBURG — “I have done nothing wrong,” former harbor CEO Mark Mingo said in an interview with Billy D on SOS radio station 95.9 FM. In January, the Court in First Instance sentenced Mingo to 46 months of imprisonment and a ban on working for any government-owned company for a period of six years. The case is on appeal and the outcome of this process is expected on June 22.

Mingo took the moral high ground by repeatedly expressing his respect for the prosecutor’s office and for the court. “The only one who can judge Mark Mingo is the court of law.”

Among the charges against Mingo is that he signed off on 277 invoices worth around $10 million for small local contractors and that by doing so he defrauded the port.

“You have to put these numbers in perspective. I sign off on 27,000 invoices every year and I cannot sign them by myself. We have a Chief Financial Officer.”

Mingo dropped the name of CFO Tonny van Kooten and that of Theo Heyliger during the interview, but he stopped short of accusing them of anything. “I am here to discuss legalities, I don’t want to get emotional.”

Mingo emphasized that he took zero dollars from the port and dismissed accusations that he took kickbacks from Heyliger for every contract at the port. “Where is the money?”

“They refer to Heyliger and I as twin brothers, so the prosecutor’s office assumed that there had to be a financial relationship.”

In my situation, Mingo added, you can do three things: “Feel sorry for yourself, blame everybody else or reïnvent yourself. I went with the third option.”

The former port-director kept his cool all through the interview, but it nevertheless became clear that the situation he finds himself in hurts. “The harbor is in my blood. I have been the CEO for eighteen years.”

Mingo described the port as a successful company. “Up to 2014 it was the best run company on the island. So what has happened between 2014 and 2017. Did I do something wrong?”

The economic spin off, the contribution of the port to St. Maarten’s economy, was $1.9 billion between 2012 and 2016, he said. Between 2012 and 2015 the port’s revenue was $190 million, against a cost of $155 million. “So we made a profit.” The port’s asset value in 2015 was $218 million.

Watch the videos of the Mark Mingo interview online at: https://www.facebook.com/sosradio.billyd/videos/5012600128777663


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Follow the money
Zebec’s attorney reveals Theo Heyliger’s “criminal conspiracy”
Civil inquiry: more “rotten apples” at the harbor