The Chairman of KPMG’s Board of Directors Albert Röell was asked by Dutch Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak about the role of the company in the illegal gambling industry in Curacao, according to Daily Herald reports.
The MP asked the question in an open letter published on the Dutch news and opinion website ThePostOnline. Van Raak said that KPMG often served as an external consultant for government-owned companies in Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten and that he encountered the name of KPMG in his mission to expose the illegal gambling industry, especially in Curacao. Bellmark Casino, Zon Casino, Bit Casino, Neder Bet, Neder Gaming, Sports Bet are all gambling companies that are aimed at the market in the Netherlands and are registered in Curacao.
“This island appears to be the centre of hundreds of illegal gambling companies that are active all over the world. The Curaçao Government has provided a small number of people, as holders of a master license, the opportunity to sell sub-licenses. This takes place without solid checks and supervision,” explained van Raak in his open letter to Röell.
“Now I don’t have to tell you that a lot of criminal money is laundered through the gambling industry. You may be asking yourself: ‘That is so nice of you Mr. Van Raak to tell me this, but what is my part in that?’ Well Mr. Röell that is exactly what I want to know of you.”
A big part of the online gambling companies operate through the local telecommunication company owned by Curacao Government UTS.
“And, what happens to be the case: KPMG Dutch Caribbean is active in UTS in many ways,” said Van Raak. “It is my understanding that KPMG people provide technical support, management consultancy services, they carry out research and sales activities and audit the books of UTS. The UTS boss came from KPMG, which also has been the external accountant of UTS,” Said Van Raak who pointed out that the firm also did the external audit of the companies of “dubious gambling entrepreneurs like Francesco Corallo, who is also tied to the Sicilian mafia.”
Van Raak mentioned KPMG’s Code of Conduct which state that the company is “open and honest” in its communication and that “difficult situations” required a “candid” approach. “KPMG writes nice words in the Code of Conduct about difficult situations. I am afraid that we are dealing with an issue of a difficult nature. I would very much like to know how deeply involved your company is exactly in the illegal gambling industry,” van Raak said.
“KPMG has to perform checks for fraud and corruption. It would seem a good idea to start checking within KPMG itself. I would take a close look at the activities of the KPMG people in the Dutch Caribbean, starting with UTS.”
The Dutch Member of Parliament said that he directed himself to Röell as KPMG Dutch Caribbean response had not been reassuring.
“They deny having connections with gambling bosses like Corallo, but at the same time declare that they have severed all ties with him last year. You can rest assure, we will continue with our own investigation.”