The Dutch Caribbean Police Force (Korps Politie Caribisch Nederland, KPCN) has started an investigation into the illegal provision of loans/credits. This is a reaction to information from the Criminal Investigation Unit (Criminele Inlichtingen Eenheid, CIE). Money is allegedly lent on a large scale without any permit and at exorbitant interest rates.
Several witnesses have been heard in this investigation, and in January a home/business property at Kaminda Djabou was searched. The investigation brought to light it is true that loans/credits are provided on a large scale at interest rates of 10 to 20 % per month (which is actually 214% to 792% per year).
A 39-year-old and a 65-year-old man, both of Dominican origin, were reported. The case will be tried shortly at the Joint Court of Justice.
Providing loans/credits is subject to various rules that have been laid down in the BES Financial Markets Act (Wet financiële markten BES). Under this act, a permit is compulsory, providing irresponsible credits is prohibited, and the interest rate is capped at 22% per year.
The rules were established to protect consumers, despite the fact that it is customary in some cultures to obtain loans or credit elsewhere. Intentional non-compliance with the rules imposed under the BES Financial Markets Act is punishable. Deliberately providing loans/credits without a permit is punished with a maximum prison sentence of four years or a fine of USD 56,000.
The Dutch Authority Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, AFM) and De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) together supervise financial enterprises in The Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba).
For further information, please visit the website of the Dutch Authority Financial Markets or De Nederlandsche Bank: www.afm.nl or www.dnb.nl
KPNC Press Release.