Corruption investigation launched at VolkerWessels subsidiaries

Two subsidiaries of construction company VolkerWessels are suspected of paying bribes to obtain construction contracts on Sint Maarten. The Tax Authority's investigative department FIOD is investigating, a spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor confirmed to ANP.

According to the Prosecutor, this investigation includes the building of a bridge on the island a few years ago. VolkerWessels said that this case is part of a larger investigation into several infrastructural projects on Sint Maarten, such as the construction of the Causeway Swing Bridge. The construction company refused to comment further on the case, according to the news wire.

Volker Construction International and Volker Stevin Caribbean won the tender to build the bridge in 2012 and built it in 2013. According to VolkerWessels, the two subsidiaries received around 32 million euros for the project, and suffered losses of around 1.5 million euros. The subsidiaries have been inactive since 2014, according to the construction company. VoklerWessels also called in external experts to investigate this matter. 

The Prosecutor has been investigating these corruption suspicions for some time. In June last year, various business premises on Sint Maarten were searched, including a trust office and the offices of the Port of Sint Maarten. In the Netherlands, the office of one of the suspected subsidiaries was also raided.