PHILIPSBURG–United People’s (UP) party member Maria Buncamper-Molanus will stand trial for tax fraud, fraud and participation in a criminal organisation.

The pro forma/pre-trial hearing in this case is scheduled for January 7, 2014, Prosecutor Tineke Kamps announced in a press statement on Friday.

Kamps said the Prosecution Service stuck to its word to take a decision about the prosecution in the Buncamper-Molanus investigation before December 1. The prosecutor has decided that 47-year-old “suspect” Buncamper-Molanus “will be summoned.”

“She will have to stand trial for tax fraud, fraud and participation in a criminal organisation.” Buncamper-Molanus’ case concerns an investigation regarding a transaction with a piece of land that was given on long lease.

Buncamper-Molanus ran on the slate of the UP party for the August 29 Parliamentary Elections. She is the former minister of public health, social development and labour.

The case against the Buncampers came to light in December 2010, when it was revealed that Buncamper-Molanus and her husband, Claudius Buncamper, had allegedly sold the economic rights to a plot of land on long lease to a fake company named Eco-Green N.V., against payment of US $3 million.

Buncamper-Molanus had allegedly obtained the rights of long lease on the government property against annual payment of approximately US $10,000 in April 2008, while she was a member of the then Executive Council.

Three days after Eco-Green was established, with a figurehead appointed as company director, the Buncampers sold the economic rights to the land to this company.

The figurehead allegedly was a former worker of the Department of Public Works. Claudius Buncamper was the head of this department for years.

Following the allegations, Buncamper resigned as minister in December 2010. Then Attorney-General Dick Piar had already given permission for a criminal investigation in 2011, but due to a number of big murder cases and several other time-consuming investigations, the Buncamper case had been put on the back burner. – The Daily Herald