Richard Gibson St Maarten

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million From Ennia Bribe Allegations St Maarten News

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million From Ennia Bribe Allegations St Maarten News


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CBCS does not trust Ansary’s ‘golden handshake’ to Gibson

The Central Bank CBCS and the Ennia companies placed under the emergency regulation take the position that there are indications for (official) bribery of former minister Richard Gibson.

At the end of 2014, Gibson senior from Sint Maarten resigned as a member of the supervisory board (SB) of Ennia
Caribe Holding (ECH).

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million From Ennia Bribe Allegations St Maarten News
Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million

When he left as supervisory director, he received a ‘golden handshake’: no less than approximately 2 million guilders. Incidentally, that was only part of what Gibson got all together, that was 7.8 million from Ennia in the period before theintervention by the CBCS by means of the emergency regulation.

The issue has become topical again with the proposed ‘intervention’ by the Central Bank at SunResorts (Mullet Bay on Sint Maarten) which is owned by Ennia Investments (EC Investments). The appeal has also been going on for some time – in writing, so out of sight of the public – in connection with the liability proceedings against the defendant ex-directors of Ennia, including against the American owner Hushang Ansary.

His confidant Gibson is admittedly not a defendant, but as a commissioner he did play a significant role in the Ansary/Ennia file and was ‘put in the waiting room’ in writing by CBCS.
His name therefore appears in the groundbreaking judgment of November 29, 2021, in which the ex-drivers were ordered to pay compensation of more than one billion guilders.

And in the complaint case before the Accountants Chamber against the former accountants of Ennia, it emerged that Gibson received 2 million when he retired as a supervisory director.

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million

The complainants – that is to say: the CBCS and five Ennia entities, which have been controlled by the CBCS since mid-2018 in connection with the emergency regulation – do not trust or trust the matter. They point out that after his departure as commissioner, Gibson became Minister of Finance and subsequently Minister of Justice of Sint Maarten.

In this regard, they also state that Mullet Bay, Ennia’s largest investment, is located on Sint Maarten.
‘Why has such a large amount been awarded? “
The parties involved take the position that there was no indication of bribery and/or fraud”, the statement of the Accountants Chamber reads. ‘Involved parties’ in this case are the accountants, who both worked at their former office until early 2021.

This office took over the audit of the Ennia group from KPMG Curagao, which had already expressed its concerns about a number of issues in March 2017, including the valuation of Mullet Bay, and also had ‘questions about the integrity’ of the then board of Ennia.

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million

“Gibson was and is a widely respected professional”, according to the Accountants Chamber, both Curagao accountants have stated in the case. In addition, it has been argued that Gibson was first Minister of Finance and Interim Minister of Justice of Sint Maarten at the end of 2015.

“The Accountants’ Chamber states first and foremost that it is not up to it to express an opinion on whether there was actually bribery and/or fraud,” the ruling reads. “It is up to the Audit Chamber to assess whether the external auditor has paid sufficient attention to the ‘golden handshake’ received by Gibson.”

The Audit Chamber is of the opinion that it is the duties of an external auditor to assess whether there are circumstances that lead to risks of material misstatement at the level of the financial statements and assertions due to corruption.

It is not clear from the documents submitted by the parties what compensation Gibson received at the time as a supervisory director of Ennia Caribe Holding for the work he performed. It does follow in a general sense from the file documents that ECH supervisory directors at the time received an annual remuneration of between NLG 150,000 and NLG 450,000 (while according to Ennia NLG 52,780 per supervisory director per year was/is ‘standard’ and acceptable).

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million

The ‘golden handshake’ of approximately 2 million received by Gibson at the end of 2014 is ‘a multiple of this amount’, argues the Accountants Chamber.
“This raises the question of why such a high amount has been allocated. Given the striking nature of this item, it would have been the auditor’s responsibility to ask critical questions about this. He has not done that.”

7.2 Million Gibson was ‘excessive’
The Audit Chamber is therefore of the opinion that the auditor, contrary to a standard, did not collect the audit evidence that justified the conclusions drawn by him. He also did not identify a fraud risk factor contrary to another standard.

In view of this, the Accountants’ Chamber is of the opinion that the accountant has not been sufficiently professionally critical in that regard. In doing so, he acted contrary to the fundamental principle of professional competence and due care. This sub-complaint is therefore founded with regard to the control of the ‘golden handshake’ awarded to Gibson.

From other documents, namely the application and the judgment of the Court of First Instance in connection with liability proceedings initiated by Ennia and CBCS against former directors, it appears that Gibson – not himself a defendant, but written to the Central Bank – collected 7.8 million from Ennia in the preemergency period.

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million

Including 2018, when Gibson was suddenly back in the picture after retiring in 2014; he had been put forward by Iranian-American major shareholder Ansary as CEO to replace Ralph Palm, but this happened without the approval and approval of the Central Bank.

In the eyes of the CBCS, more than 7.2 million of that 7.8 million was ‘excessive’, because Ennia itself takes as a starting point with regard to the compensation to supervisory directors that 52,780 guilders per supervisory director per year was/is ‘standard’ and acceptable.

It was also Gibson who, just before the emergency regulation, signed an agreement with board member Abdallah Andraous on June 22, 2018 on behalf of Ennia Investments on the one hand and Ansary on the other, whereby $250 million, of which $100 million immediately, was withdrawn from Ennia. That was partly the deciding factor for the Central Bank to intervene in Ansary’s Ennia.

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million

Richard Gibson Collected 7.8 Million

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