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Minister Plasterk does not make OLAF report public

THE HAGUE--Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations will not make public the so-called OLAF report into the alleged misappropriation of European subsidies in Bonaire, he informed the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.

Member of Parliament of centre-democrat D66 Wassila Hachchi had asked Minister Plasterk why the report of European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF concerning the alleged fraud with money from the European Development Fund (EDF) was not made public.

In his response, Plasterk stated that the report was made available to him by the European Commission on January 17, under the condition that its contents would be dealt with confidentially. The report was handed over to the Standing Committee for Kingdom Relations on February 17, Plasterk stated.

OLAF is investigating possible irregularities with financial management within Foundation Development Netherlands Antilles SONA since late last year. The foundation is carrying out European and Dutch development programmes.

The project under surveillance involves 34 million euros for a sewage system in Bonaire. The project was tendered by SONA in 2010, and awarded to MNO Vervat International.

Minister Plasterk said he declined to publish the OLAF report as this could hamper preliminary investigations by the Prosecutor's Office in Bonaire into potential crimes. He said that a copy of the report was made available to SONA in May.

Plasterk declined to provide any further information, for instance concerning why the alleged fraud had only come to light after a statement provided by a dismissed SONA team leader.

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