WILLEMSTAD–The former director of Curaçao security service VDC Edsel Gumbs, as a witness in the “Maximus” appeal case, answered questions about an informant who allegedly told him about the plans that former MFK-minister George Jamaloodin had to have PS-leader and then Member of Parliament (MP) Helmin Magno Wiels murdered.
Jamaloodin was sentenced to 28 years in prison by the Court of First Instance. According to the prosecution, he ordered the assassination of the outspoken politician in 2013.
Gumbs had been placed on mandatory leave of absence at VDC in 2010, as the government headed by MFK-leader Gerrit Schotte was formed. At the time, Gumbs was screening the proposed cabinet members.
He was denied access to his office, with Prime Minister Schotte saying confidence in him had been seriously compromised. Later that year, Gumbs was dismissed.
This resulted in a legal battle between him and government that lasted two years. It eventually ended with an honourable discharge in 2013. That dismissal was again annulled by the judge in 2015, but Gumbs had stopped working for VDC.
The informant, whose identity only Gumbs knows and does not want to reveal under any circumstances, said he heard that Jamaloodin offered the job to someone to kill a person. That is said to have happened when he was approached by a man in a car with black windows, who offered stolen goods like watches.
The latter supposedly wanted to sell these to Jamaloodin. According to the informant, Jamaloodin said he was not interested, but did have a job for that person. Wiels’ name was mentioned. The man is said to have declined and gone on his way.
Later that day, that same car allegedly returned with Burney “Nini” Fonseca and Luigi Florentina. Jamaloodin is said to have glanced at the informant as a sign that he needed to go, as there was something to be discussed that he should not hear.
Because Gumbs was no longer employed at VDC when the informant contacted him, he advised approaching the Kingdom Detective Cooperation Team RST, the prosecution or the police. But the informant did not want to speak to anyone else.
What caused confusion and ambiguity during the hearing is that Gumbs stated that he had been called on his mobile work phone by the informant. But Gumbs had turned in all his work materials in 2012, because he had been placed on mandatory leave. Wiels’ murder took place in 2013.
Gumbs only came forward with his statement about the informant in 2015. So, the question was: How it is possible that the informant called on the work phone while Gumbs no longer had it? However, Gumbs did not change his statement.
In addition to the former VDC-director, J. Bautisma was also summoned as a witness during the appeal in the Maximus case. Bautisma is the brother of Luigi “Pretu” Florentina, who was a suspect in Wiels’ murder.
Bautisma and Luigi have the same mother. Luigi died behind bars at the Barber police station after being detained for the Wiels murder while in the Netherlands, and flown back to the island. He hanged himself in his cell.
Bautisma was called as a witness at the request of the defence team of Jamaloodin. They had questions about Pretu’s activities, among other things. Jamaloodin’s lawyer wanted to know if Bautisma was aware that his brother was making his money from criminal activities.
Bautisma said Pretu once told him he was involved in drug trafficking. He learned from the newspapers about the other activities of his half-brother, who also told him about his involvement in the robbery of jewellery at the Renaissance Mall.
Furthermore, Bautisma confirmed that in 2013, he stated Luigi was a member of No Limit Soldiers (NLS), a criminal gang from the Koraal Specht district. However, Bautisma now said that someone told him his brother was a member of it, but that Luigi himself never said this.
Bautisma also indicated that in his last conversations with Luigi he never said anything about the murder of Wiels.
It was also discussed that Bautisma and his mother are suspected of money laundering through a piece of property that Pretu owned. During the appeal hearing, Bautisma stated that two RST officers gave him a letter to sign. If he signed and made a statement, the charges against his mother would be dropped and they would be allowed to keep the property. In addition, Bautisma and his mother would receive 15,000 Netherlands Antillean guilders.
Bron: Daily Herald