THE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - The Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Grapperhaus will not express an opinion on the mini settlement of around 38,000 euros that KPMG recently struck for involvement in money laundering of around 322 million dollars. Grapperhaus says this in his answers to questions from SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak. In general, the minister says that he is in favor of a criminal law approach to (facilitating) money laundering, but in this specific case it is up to the Public Prosecution (OM) in Curaçao to decide on this.
KPMG agreed to the fine with the OM in Curaçao in connection with involvement in the money laundering case that revolves around the Caribbean Distributors Group NV (CDG).
That company plays an important role in the Cymbal and Troja cases, in which various individuals are prosecuted for being suspected of money laundering through so-called dollar waving or dollar tourism. KPMG Curaçao prepared the annual accounts of CDG from 2004 to 2009. At the end of January, an accountant from KPMG Curaçao was also blamed by the disciplinary court in Zwolle for his involvement.
Van Raak wanted, among other things, to know from the minister whether he could explain "why KPMG Accountancy Services BV got away in Curaçao with a fine of around 38,000 euros for being involved in money laundering of around 322 million dollars". The SP also wondered why the didn’t wait with the fine or settlement until the criminal investigations "Cymbal" and "Troja", in which KPMG is involved, were completed.
A criminal law approach to money laundering
Grapperhaus replies that "in this case it is up to the OM Curaçao to decide whether to prosecute the suspect in an individual criminal case and which settlement method is appropriate. As the Minister of Justice and Security of the Netherlands, it is not appropriate for me to participate in the assessment of the OM Curaçao, which falls under the responsibility of my colleague from Curaçao. In general, I think that a criminal law approach should be provided where there is (facilitating) money laundering. But in this specific case it is up to the OM Curaçao to decide on this."
"KPMG facilitated suspects Troja and Cymbal in criminal activities"
From a press release emitted by the OM, Grapperhaus deduces that the OM Curaçao has established that KPMG has facilitated suspects in the investigations Troja and Cymbal in the criminal activities for which those suspects are now being prosecuted. "Financial service providers and accountants such as KPMG AAS act as gatekeepers to the financial sector and play an important role in the detection of money laundering, the financing of terrorism and other socially inappropriate behavior. However, these are organizations that fall under the supervision of the authorities in Curaçao and it is therefore up to them to determine whether KPMG has helped AAS criminal activities"