PHILIPSBURG–The court hearings in the so-called “Orca” or “Bada Bing” case will be kicking off in the Court of First Instance today, Wednesday, at 9:00am. The case involves a number of alleged illegal practices in and concerning Bada Bing nightclub in Simpson Bay.
In the trial, former Member of Parliament Patrick Illidge (49) will be facing charges of accepting bribes from Bada Bing and Lunteren N.V. owner, Jaap van den Heuvel (49) for the total amount of US $150,000 between October 2010 and September 2012.
In exchange for the money, Illidge allegedly was to use his power and influence to favour the Bada Bing owner in ensuring the Ministry of Economic Affairs would grant adapted permits to the nightclub and seek a change in its official registered address.
Illidge allegedly was to promote extended opening hours for Bada Bing and seek the extension of work permits for several female employees. He also was charged with possession of an illegal firearm.
The indictment against Van den Heuvel consists of eight charges, including the alleged bribery of Illidge, money laundering and membership in a criminal organisation involved in forgery, tax evasion, trafficking of women and the employment of women without work permits.
Lunteren N.V. and Manager K.E.v.d.B., (42), were indicted separately. The company also was charged with involvement in money laundering, trafficking of women, tax evasion and violation of the ordinance on the employment of foreign labourers.
Van den Heuvel is at the centre of the Bada Bing corruption case, which surrounds a videotape of Illidge apparently accepting banknotes from Van den Heuvel while the two discussed business permits.
The trial is expected to take two days, with the hearings to be continued tomorrow, Thursday. The verdicts may not be expected until March 5.