PHILIPSBURG--"I am getting tired of being associated with Gerrit Schotte. I have never met with Schotte at the UP headquarters. I have never met anyone that identified themselves as the secret service of Curaçao. Nor have I ever wanted to. I had no meetings with them. I have never asked for information from them."
That was the statement from United People's (UP) party leader Member of Parliament (MP) Theo Heyliger upon reading Thursday about supposedly "secret documents" released online by anti-St. Maarten Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP). The documents point to a meeting on or around the 2010 elections in St. Maarten between a member of the Curaçao Security Agency VDC, candidate Curaçao Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte, candidate minister George Jamaloodin and Heyliger.
Heyliger told The Daily Herald which carried a story about the documents, "The only time that I knowingly had discussions with the secret service was those of St. Maarten for the screening of ministers [of the current Gumbs Cabinet]."
"All other meetings with Schotte and [candidate minister George] Jamaloodin have been about the working relationship of the countries Curaçao and St. Maarten," Heyliger said.
The UP leader called the situation of his name being thrown into every controversy as "becoming tiring."
"It appears as though when any attempt at stirring up a controversy starts to wane, the best way of trying to revive it is to administer a shot of Theo Heyliger. It is as though my name must be called whether I am involved or not," Heyliger said.
Nearing his two-decade milestone in politics, Heyliger said, "Entering politics I have one goal and that one goal remains – to serve the people of St. Maarten and to serve them for as long as they so desire. If it is the goal of people in The Hague to cause unrest in St. Maarten by casting shadows on any and every one on this island, I strongly suggest this stops and stops now."
According to the documents online, the meeting in St. Maarten was confirmed in a letter by then Antillean Minister of Justice Magali Jacoba (who was not part of the meeting in question) on September 20, 2010, less than three weeks before the dismantling of the Country the Netherlands Antilles. The letter was addressed to the then Head of the Department of Internal and External Security of the VDC Lawrence Pietersz.
In the letter, which was based on a conversation between Jacoba and then Head of the VDC Edsel Gumbs, who was forbidden by Schotte to enter the VDC in the latter part of October 2010, Pietersz was confronted with his unauthorised travel as VDC team chief to St. Maarten on September 16 and 17, 2010. Pietersz was offered a ticket to St. Maarten by a third person, presumably by Curaçao businessman George Jamaloodin who later became Finance Minister in the Schotte cabinet.
According to the letter, Pietersz was seen in the company of at least two Curaçao politicians of the MFK party of Gerrit Schotte. The letter doesn't mention names, but it is highly likely that the concerned politicians were Schotte and Jamaloodin.
Jacoba further informed Pietersz that he had met with Schotte, Jamaloodin and Heyliger at the headquarters of the UP party. The meeting was confirmed by Interim VDC Head Rudy St. Jago, who filed an official complaint against Pietersz in February 2011.
Van Raak's article, headlined "Secret documents-How the Curaçao gambling mafia bought a security service," also referred to the theft of information at the VDC late October 2011. VDC information, which Van Raak said included material of the Dutch intelligence and security agency AIVD and the American Central Intelligence Agency CIA, was copied, destroyed or removed.