WILLEMSTAD – On Friday, August 20, 2021, a notary was on trial in the Court of First Instance in Curaçao. He is suspected of having transferred funds from his office without a legal basis from the escrow account of the notary’s office to his private account and to have used these funds for private purposes.
The amounts deposited into the escrow account were amounts from the clients of the notary’s office. According to the notary himself, it was money that no longer had a destination. However, the Public Prosecution Service believes that this is not relevant, and in that case, the money should also have been returned to the rightful owners. After all, the characteristic of a third-party account is that funds held by others for those others are held in safekeeping by the civil-law notary and may not be used for one’s own benefit.
An investigation by the National Investigation Department, in collaboration with the Tax Authorities and the TIO, has shown that funds from the trust account have been used for years as a kind of internal bank for private purposes.
The suspect seriously abused his position as a civil-law notary and the trust that the clients were allowed to place in him. A civil-law notary must act incorruptible and act as such. With his actions, he has seriously damaged the trust one can place in a notary.
For these accusations, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) demands a prison sentence of 18 months, of which 6 months are conditional with a probation period of 3 years. Also, removal from the office of notary for 5 years. The judge will rule in this case on September 10.
The National Investigation Department is an independent investigative agency with a special task. It focuses on the investigation of crimes committed by government and semi-government officials. The National Criminal Investigation Department mainly operates in the field of criminal conduct that seriously affects the integrity of the administration of justice and the integrity of public administration.
Bron: Curacao Chronicle