WILLEMSTAD - Will it become clear this week why the popular politician Helmin Wiels had to be eliminated?
That is the question that keeps Curaçao busy since the Pueblo Soberano (PS) leader was was killed with 5 bullets in his back on the beach at Marie Pampoen on Sunday May 5, 2013,. The answer should come from former minister George Jamaloodin who is on trial for the next three days, but the chances that he will confess are not great.
The perpetrators of the murder have been sentenced, so far alive (one was liquidated by his mates, another hanged himself). The man who, on behalf of the clients, managed and paid the executors was also tried. In 2018 he was sentenced to 26 years in prison on appeal.
This intermediary led the investigation team to the potential clients. In the months before the murder, he maintained close contact with Jamaloodin, who was a member of the Schotte Cabinet supported by Wiels from 2010 to 2012. Immediately after the murder, the contact ended abruptly. The former minister was arrested in July 2014, but also released.
The moment the Public Prosecution (OM) wanted to arrest him again in 2017, Jamaloodin fled to Venezuela. In September last year, he was extradited and locked up in Bonaire because his safety could not be guaranteed in Curaçao. Where almost everybody in Curaçao hopes that Jamaloodin will tell his story to the judges, there is a great deal of interest in keeping him mouth closed.
The investigation team is certain that Wiels was murdered because he intended to tackle the gambling mafia on the island. The lines between this sector and politics are sometimes surprisingly thin. Jamaloodin is the half-brother of lottery boss Robbie dos Santos who, every time his name is mentioned in the investigation, denies any involvement.