WILLEMSTAD - In An investigation into possible corruption surrounding the sale of the oil refinery in Curaçao, the Dutch company Count has recently emerged. The director of the refinery has asked an employee of the Dutch company for bribes, in exchange for a favorable position in the sales process.
The employee agreed to this in the first instance, but the deal did not go through because they did not settle on the amount.
This appears from an investigation report that was leaked via the Dutch newspaper Antilliaans Dagblad last week. The director was dismissed in November last year because of the affair. The investigation into the issue was carried out by the Amsterdam law firm Ivy, commissioned by the supervisory board of the refinery.
According to the report, Count's employee was initially interested in this way of doing business, but he ceased after they could not reach agreement on the amounts to be paid. The government of Curaçao has filed a complaint with the Public Prosecution Service, which is investigating the case.
The director of the refinery has denied the attempted bribery against Ivy's investigators. He stated that they did not completely trust Count and wanted to investigate the integrity of the company. That is why they would have made the proposal for payments to see if Count would accept. If that were the case, he knew that Count was not good and he could eliminate the company from the list of potential buyers, as the director explained.
Count is a company owned by the Dutch businessman Peter Goedvolk, with an estimated capital of approximately 182 million on the list of companies in the business magazine Quote. The company, specialized in commodities trading, showed a joint interest with an American company in the Isla refinery. The director, together with a few employees and a consultant, suggested that Count would transfer 750 thousand dollars to a still to be established company for consultancy costs. Additional payments had to be made in the future.
Managing director Pieter Janssens of Count said that the company 'does not recognize itself' in the stories about possible corruption. “We have now requested the report from the refinery and are going to study it. Then we will present our extensive response.”