Published On: Wed, Mar 11th, 2020

Public Prosecutor’s Office demands Heyliger be immediately imprisoned

Theo Heyliger 2020030901 JH

~ Six years and six months in prison demanded against Theo Heyliger ~

PHILIPSBURG – The Public Prosecutor in the Larimar case demands six years and six months in prison against Theo Heyliger for taking over 3 million dollars in bribes and money laundering. If the judge agrees with the prosecution’s request, Heyliger will be immediately imprisoned after the ruling on April 24. According to the prosecutor, his health problems do not form a barrier to detention.

The Public Prosecution states that it has demanded a long-term prison sentence because Heyliger refused to cooperate and give full disclosure during the hearing of the case. The suspect denies that he has received amounts of money or gifts in the form of land, construction work at his home or a car – cases that the Public Prosecution Service has charged him with and considers proven. Heyliger maintains that he has not accepted any bribes and does not have any loan agreements with parties who require a reciprocal service from him.

According to the Public Prosecution, the Larimar case has uncovered deep-rooted corruption. In exchange for assignments for the local construction company Windward Roads, the Dutch VolkerWessels and the American company Devcon, the former MP and former Commissioner would have received more than 3 million dollars in less than five years from June 1, 2009, to March 2014. The payments were alleged to have been made by the Dutch construction consultant Ronald Maasdam, crown witness and suspect in the Larimar case. On March 9th Maasdam stated to the court that he regularly handed over envelopes with banknotes to Heyliger.

As a crown witness, Maasdam can count on a substantial reduction in punishment, while the Public Prosecution Service has concluded a deal with this suspect in which he can expect payment of 1.8 million euros. Maasdam may also retain 1.1 million euros of the money obtained from crime. The claim against Maasdam is 3 years in prison, with deduction of the five months that the suspect has been in custody.

Payments to Maasdam were made by, among others, the now dismissed director JanHendrik Boekhaar of Windward Roads, who is also on trial in the Larimar case. According to the Public Prosecution Service, Boekhaar has given full disclosure during the proceedings and has made incriminating statements for himself and others. The Public Prosecutor is of the opinion that Boekhaar should be rewarded with a reduction in sentences. The original demand of 18 months in prison has been reduced to 12 months.

For George Pelgrim and Ron Elferink who have both been charged with money laundering, the Public Prosecution Service considers imprisonment inappropriate. “What we have been able to establish is that the suspects Elferink and Pelgrim have had little benefit from the proven money laundering operations. In view of their limited but equal role, the Public Prosecution Service demands a 140-hour community service against them.”

The responsible companies do not escape their sentences, according to the Public Prosecutor. The role of Volker Stevin in the creation of the Simpson Bay Causeway is the subject of lengthy and in-depth research in the Netherlands, the prosecutor explains. “Windwards Road will not get away with a slap on the wrist either. The company has reached a settlement with the Public Prosecutor’s Office and that settlement entails a community service: Windwards Road is going to implement projects for $2 million on St. Maarten at its own expense. Sewerage will be installed in a number of neighborhoods.”

Judge and Court Recorder Larimar Case - 20200310 JH

Judge Stephan van Lieshout will rule on 24 April.

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