PHILIPSBURG: --- At least three known politicians will soon have to appear in courts as the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) tries to recover monies
that was given to them for specific investment projects.
SMN News learned that each of the politicians received between one hundred to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to invest through the Enterprise Support Project (ESP) and they never invested the monies for which it was secured.
According to the information SMN News received the three politicians were asked to repay the NRPB but they opted not to do so as such the NRPB is now moving to courts to recover the money that was loaned to them.
The politicians that requested money for investment purposes are United St. Maarten Party (USP) Khalil Revan who was supposed to open a grocery store that never materialized.
It is understood that the NRPB has asked Revan to repay the money he was loaned but to date, he has not made any effort to do so, as such the NRPB has to move to court to recover the funds from Revan. Based on the court docket of December 2022 the NRPB filed a case against Khalil Revan on December 13th, 2022,
Qredits and NRBP against Khalil Revan (Grote Markt). The case was heard on December 13th and Revan did not show up as such the court will render a default judgment sometime in January 2023.
United Peoples Party (UPP) member and United Democrats candidate Armand Meda another politician that received over $100K to invest, however, bought a fleet of motor vehicles all of which he resold and kept the investment monies and did not repay the NRPB.
National Alliance Dimar Labega also received monies from the NRPB for a fitness project and his project also did not materialize. In an invited comment Labega admitted that he received funds for investment, and he intends to repay the NRPB. Labega said that he already had a payment plan with the NRBP but he has been inconsistent with the payment. He said he accepts full responsibility for his actions, and such will make the repayment a high priority for this year.
The three politicians that secured investment funding from NRPB through Qredits were the first sets of persons that received the funding. At the time when the project launched NRPB and Qredits transferred all the funds to the entrepreneurs who submitted business plans and ideas. However, they quickly changed their business strategy when they realized that the potential investors were not using the funds for its intended purposes.
SMN News learned that NRBP and Qredits have since decided to follow the banking procedures in which they would make payments in tranches or to creditors.
Based on the agreements signed the entrepreneurs are supposed to pay back 35% of the loan should they follow through with their investment projects.
However, the three politicians are asked to repay the total sum plus interest since they did not use the funds they obtained for its intended purposes.
Khalil Revan has since begun making payments when he learned that Qredits and NRPB were moving to court, however, his intention was to just pay back the 35% even though he never opened the Grote Markt at its intended location in Cole Bay.
Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion confirmed that there are persons who received monies from the ESP program and these persons did not use the monies they received for its intended purposes as such the NRPB is working on recovering the funds. “Funds were given to entrepreneurs, and they did not execute, and these persons have to repay the NRBP the full amount. These persons have not even replied to the emails sent to them and I do believe the courts are the next step in order to receive.” I will not say who these persons are because I do not know who is running for elections this year, however, I will say that there has been misappropriation of funds.”
Irion explained that the NRPB has done all its in power to recover the monies loaned to persons who wanted to invest. He said that the government is responsible for the recovery of the funds as such court cases will have to be filed.
Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said the Government of St. Maarten made the ESP program available as such a loan was given to entrepreneurs for investment. She said that they were informed that some persons did not live up to the agreement they made when they obtained the funds. She said because of checks and balances that are in place some persons were identified as such she is imploring those persons to either repay the funds or invest in the project and or ideas they had.
SMN News reached out to the NRPB and was unable to get Director Claret Conner, However, Conner later made this statement in writing to SMN News. “The NRPB takes non-compliance very seriously. If a beneficiary of the Enterprise Support Project does not live up to the legal agreements that they have signed with the NRPB, appropriate action will be taken. The NRPB cannot comment on individual cases.”