‘Stanford duped Aruba for 35 million dollars’

ORANJESTAD — After the Institute Stanford Aruba, who represents victims of Stanford Group Aruba, hauled the Central Bank Aruba (CBA) before the court in September last year, the case came up for trial Tuesday.


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With that, lawyer Gabri de Hoogd – who represents the institute – said that on Aruba alone, the American concern had caused damage to the total amount of 35 million dollars. This is the first time that such an amount was announced on the consequences for Aruba from the scandal surrounding Stanford. The American authorities impeached Allen Stanford in February last year for fraud running into billions with his investments and investment bank. Thousands of people had lost their money with this. Stanford was also represented on Aruba and this branch was officially registered in the trade register as investment consultancy. Therefore, the branch was not allowed to operate as a bank, and was not under supervision of the Central Bank.
Nevertheless, the victims who have united in the Institute Stanford Aruba are of the opinion that the CBA should have supervised and unjustifiably did not do so. Therefore, they hold the Bank responsible and demand a claim. It is not clear what kind of claim they demand.
In the court case, De Hoogd refers once again to an article that the Amigoe had published in February last year. In that article, the Central Bank indicated that they were concerned about the practices of Stanford from the moment the company established itself here. For instance, the branch distributed brochures promising investors a high interest. However, in conversations with the Central, Stanford promised no deposits less than 100,000 florins would be accepted, because the branch would then fall under supervision of CBA. However, when the scandal leaked out, it appeared from the victims that Stanford had indeed accepted deposits less than 100,000 florins – although lawyer De Hoogd states this based on statements from victims. Moreover, the lawyer stated– also based on statements – that Stanford should have been registered as credit institution. The branch was registered as consultancy, Van de Hoogd argued before the judge, but the company had indeed operated as a bank. He also states that CBA had to have been aware of this and should have taken action, something that the article in the Amigoe also confirms.

Members of the institute unknown
Lawyer Carlo for the opposite party questioned once again which victims the institute currently represents. It’s quite possible that the institute is not representing anybody, according to the lawyer who represents the Central Bank. Last January, Van de Hoogd spoke of ‘some fifty’ victims in this newspaper who were represented in the institute. Carlo further disputed that CBA had failed in their supervision and stated that in another case on the Central Bank of the Netherlands Antilles, the Court concluded that the latter could take limited action against credit institutions. The judgment is scheduled for January 26th 2011.