Fmr. Curaçao PM arrested in Willemstad

Former Prime Minister of Curaçao, Gerrit Schotte, was arrested this morning at the studios of Curaçao tv channel CBA in Willemstad. His arrest has been confirmed by the Public Prosecution Authority (OM). 

Shortly before his arrest, Schotte gave an interview. Detectives were waiting for him upon exit, and took him away. It is unclear what the ex-PM was arrested for. His girlfriend was also apprehended.

The Department of Justice announced in December that Schotte was suspected of whitewashing money and forgery. At that time, the police exercised a home raid and also searched Schotte's party offices.

His room in Parliament was also searched. The investigation was performed after some dozen reports came in at the Unusual Transactions Report Center (MOT).

The former Prime Minister's name appears 50 times in the register that is managed by the MOT. This concerns substantial cash deposits on accounts held by Schotte, in the period when he was a delegate in the Island Council of Curaçao. A sum of €350,000 is being reported by the NOS.

According to the paper, Schotte is also being brought into connection with Sicilian Mafia boss Francesco Corallo, who is thought to have deposited large sums of cash in Schotte's party fund, the MFK. These sums went through a company with which Schotte's girlfriend is affiliated.

It is illegal on Curaçao to take funds from people and legal persons who are not based on the island, or who do not live on Curaçao.