Knops: “According to Curaçao and Aruba there is no question of gold smuggling”
THE HAGUE - The Undersecretary responsible for Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops answered questions from the Dutch parliament on the topic of gold smuggling from Venezuela to the ABC Islands.
On the question if it is true that under the watchful eye of the army of Venezuela a lot of gold is smuggled to Aruba and Curaçao and if so, why has that never been known, Undersecretary Knops indicated that it is known that Venezuelan mining (including gold mining) is largely in the hands of agencies that are almost completely controlled by the army. However, no official figures are published by the Venezuelan government on imports and exports of minerals, including gold. Contacts with the authorities of Aruba and Curaçao have made it clear that no signs are known which support the reporting on possible gold smuggling from Venezuela.
The Dutch MPs also asked if this smuggling explains the large export of gold from Curaçao and if not, where Curaçao gets this gold. The MPs received this information from the data provided by the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten.
“Curaçao has indicated that there is no export of gold, but of transit of gold. Curaçao is, as stated, not aware of gold smuggling. The Customs of Curaçao checks all submitted documents for compliance with national customs legislation and regulations,” said Knops in his reaction.
“Is it true that there is an infrastructure on Aruba and Curaçao to launder this illegal gold? Which financial companies are involved in this? Why has this never been observed by accountants such as KPMG?”
“The authorities of Aruba and Curaçao are not aware of illegal activities regarding possible gold smuggling,” said Knops.
The MPs also asked which authority should exercise control over these illegal activities in Aruba and Curaçao. Why did not this happen? Knops said that in accordance with legislation and regulations, inspections are carried out by Coast Guard, Customs and the Unusual Transactions Reporting Center. This means that inspections are indeed carried out.