PHILIPSBURG: --- SMN News learned from reliable sources that the prosecutor's Office has decided to launch an investigation into the bidding process for garbage collection from 2021 to 2026.
Sources say persons were approached to be questioned and the investigation kicked off after the Minister of VROMI Egbert Jurendy Doran survived a motion of no confidence on September 2nd, 2022.
The Ombudsman of St. Maarten conducted a systemic investigation after two contractors that participated in the bidding process filed complaints with the office of the Ombudsman.
In the final report of the Ombudsman, several incidents have been mentioned, one being the disagreements within the evaluation committee that prompted two of them to resign and the alleged involvement of the staff from the Ministers’ cabinet and the Minister himself.
Most importantly the Ombudsman referred to documents that were leaked but were not turned over to the Office of the Ombudsman when they requested all documents be turned over. The 35-page report was used by the opposition members of parliament to call a public meeting where the motion of no confidence was tabled.
The contractors that won the bids are:
- Meadowlands BV
- Garden Boyz BV
- All Waste in Place
- Avyanna Clean Up and Construction
- West Indies Landscaping
It should be noted that much interest was placed on Avyanna Clean Up and Construction by members of the media and members of parliament because the owner of the company Malik Ottley is the brother of Minister of VSA and Acting Minister of TEATT Omar Ottley while he is the 3rd cousin of the Minister of VROMI Egbert Jurendy Doran.
Some media houses and Members of Parliament placed a lot of focus on Avyanna because it is believed that there were conflicts of interest or semblance of conflict of interest. Members of Parliament who had the documents that the Ombudsman did not officially receive even twisted the truth when they stated on the floor of parliament that Avyanna did not have a banking account or statement in their files.
It has been proven based on the documents shown in parliament that the parcel that Avyanna bid on and the document was missing was not awarded to the company instead they were awarded another parcel where their file was intact.
Noteworthy is that the prosecutor held up the screening for Minister Omar Ottley for almost a year when he became the candidate minister for VSA. They claim that Ottley was under investigation but never disclosed what he was being investigated for. Minister Omar Ottley then fought his battle in court and eventually he was sworn in as the Minister of VSA and Acting Minister of TEATT. The same Minister is today holding down two ministries since the Minister of TEATT resigned due to medical issues.
Understandably the Prosecutors Office has an interest in the owner of Avyanna, Malik Ottley who has a conviction over his head, but they have never made that public.
What is interesting is that the ransomware attack on NV GEBE has affected the national security of all people in St. Maarten but the prosecutor’s office backed down when they were denied entry to NV GEBE when they started their investigation.
Hopefully, they would resume that investigation since the report from Aurora InfoTech is very telling to say the least.