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EXCLUSIVE: Civil Servant Arrested in Seabass Investigation, ex-wife Questioned. (UPDATED 1_

julianlake30092020PHILIPSBURG:--- A well-known Civil Servant identified as Julian Lake currently working in the cabinet of the Minister of TEATT was arrested today Tuesday, September 29th, 2020, while his ex-wife also a senior civil servant was also questioned.
SMN News learned that the arrest has to do with the seabass investigation, that involves the ICT department of government. According to information provided to SMN News the civil servant once worked in the ICT department.
On November 19th, 2019, the National Detectives searched 5 locations, two businesses, and three homes.
A press release from the Prosecutors office states that the head of the department identified as M.D was suspected of abusing his position when awarding public ICT tenders. Various projects were awarded to the suspect and/or companies owned by the suspect's relatives. M.D. is also suspected of having laundered the unlawful proceeds. In the investigation, several persons and legal entities were identified as suspects. A precautionary seizure was also made of, among other things, sums of money and a plot of land. The National Detectives will proceed with this investigation over the coming months.

The National Detectives have pursued this investigation because the actions of the accused undermine the integrity of the public administration and the civil service. Administrative responsibilities and business interests are intertwined. This can be at the expense of the quantity, quality, and price of products supplied to the government. Furthermore, this has not benefited the citizens of Sint Maarten and disturbs the level playing field for the business community.

A spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office Roderick Gouverneur confirmed the arrest of Julian Lake, he said that the prosecutor's office is not ruling out other arrests in the Seabass investigation.


THE ‘SEABASS’ INVESTIGATION


In a long-term investigation called SEABASS, the National Detectives investigates irregularities in the procurement of ICT projects in recent years. This investigation focuses on the Head of ICT for Country Sint Maarten, M.D. M.D. is suspected of abuse of his position in awarding public ICT tenders and of laundering the illegal proceeds. In the investigation, several persons and legal entities have been identified as suspects. In addition, amounts of money and a plot of land were seized. As part of this investigation, J.L. was arrested this week by the National Detectives. More arrests are not excluded.
The National Detectives have continued this investigation because the actions of the accused undermine the integrity of the public administration and the civil service. Administrative responsibilities and business interests are intertwined. This can be at the expense of the quantity, quality, and price of the products delivered to the government. Moreover, this does not benefit the citizens of St. Maarten and disturbs the level playing field for the business community.

 

Prosecutors' Press Release

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