Banco del Orinoco

In an article published by a Dutch newspaper in Curaçao on October 22, the question was raised whether the judge in his decision to declare the Banco del Orinoco (BDO) bankrupt had acted with sufficient care and avoided any appearance of a conflict of interest. The reader who has not read the article will understand that this is about whether or not there is a questionable bankruptcy ruling.

The article derives its news value in particular from the fact that the bank's lawyer disputes the decisions of the judge who has declared the bankruptcy with concrete and apparently credible propositions.

The lawyer's propositions in particular call for reminiscences of the publications recently published in the Dutch press (de Volkskrant) which deal with the question of whether DSB Bank's bankruptcy at the time was really justified.

The articles published in de Volkskrant report, among other things, that the trustees in bankruptcy left the contracts designated as wrong and earned assets. The propositions of the BDO lawyer call for extra attention now that it appears that the judge who has declared the bankruptcy subsequently appoints himself as supervisory judge and the lawyers of the bankruptcy applicants (the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten) as trustees.

A book has recently been published (P. Groot, "The largest criminal gang in the Netherlands" ISBN 9 789079 762002) in which the author devotes ten chapters to specific examples of bankruptcy fraud.

Due to the lack of control during the handling of bankruptcies, the trustees and lawyers could shamelessly enrich themselves at the expense of the bankrupt bank and other creditors.

Groot argues that in the case of DSB with a little more cooperation instead of opposition, much injustice and misery could have been prevented; and of course also a lot of unjustified bag filling.

So here the question is whether a similar scenario forms the basis of what happened at the Banco del Orinico. After all, the lawyer of the aforementioned bank mentions many facts that are contrary to the decision of the judge who has declared the bankruptcy. Facts that, viewed from the knowledge gained from Groot's book, give rise to eyebrows.

Groot describes in 55 points in his book the shortcomings he has experienced more than once in bankruptcy law. To this end he counts entangled interests, mutual solidarity, ignoring evidence, assuming falsified expert reports, biased case law, renouncing the truth, rejecting witness hearings.

According to Groot, these abuses occur in particular in the case of bankruptcies, where under Dutch law a judge supervises the liquidator, who both act without any control or financial accountability. Groot describes, among other things, ten example cases of emptied estates in bankruptcies, including companies that are settled on the basis of false claims. In one of the companies described in the book, there were about 8 to 10 million salable assets, with the receivers being able to raise less than one million with sales to doubtful buyers.

The article that was recently published by the local Dutch newspaper spontaneously raises the question whether the bankruptcy declaration of Banco del Orinoco can be compared with the current bankruptcy ruling of DSB Bank.

This is a question that is worth asking. After all, the modern developed layman demands a court judgment that it is transparent and well-motivated.

The rule of law no longer understands a legal system in which judges with the wet finger and depending on how the flag hangs, can just decide what they think is good. In an evolving modern democracy, judges will gradually no longer escape escalating criticism about their decisions by the outside world.

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