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Viewing cable 08PARAMARIBO242, ATTACKING CORRUPTION LITE: SENTENCES IN SURINAME POSITIVE,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08PARAMARIBO242 2008-06-04 19:07 2011-02-10 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Paramaribo
VZCZCXRO1380
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHPO #0242 1561904
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041904Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0214
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHAO/AMCONSUL CURACAO 1267
UNCLAS PARAMARIBO 000242 

SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR: JROSHOLT, WHA/PDA: CWEST 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV NS
SUBJECT: ATTACKING CORRUPTION LITE: SENTENCES IN SURINAME POSITIVE, 
BUT TOO SHORT 

REF: a) PARAMARIBO 222 

b) PARAMARIBO 470 
c) PARAMARIBO 444 

1. (U) SUMMARY. On May 13, a Surinamese judge handed down seven 
sentences in a much talked about corruption case (refs B, C) 
involving the Ministry of Finance. The convicted officials were 
charged with the embezzlement of 6,118,379 Surinamese Dollars 
(approximately U.S. $2.1 million), participation in a criminal 
organization, and fraud. The sentences continue the government's 
trend of taking action against corrupt officials (reftels), but some 
observers consider the sentences too light. END SUMMARY. 

------------------------------ 
Offence and Sentencing Details 
------------------------------ 

2. (U) On May 13, seven officials from the Ministry of Finance 
were sentenced for manipulating payment vouchers after payment was 
authorized by the Ministry of Education. The two main suspects in 
this case, Remilio Kemper and Rawin Badloe, were both sentenced to 
three years and six months imprisonment and received additional 
fines of 100,000 SRD (approximately U.S. $36,000) each. Four others 
(Ghansjaam Mohan, Ashwien Karaya, Vishnoekoemar Binasrie, and 
Rasjinderkoemar Ramsamoedj) were sentenced to nine months and 
additional fines of 50,000 SRD (approximately U.S. $18,000). 
Marciano Symor (not considered by the judge to be part of the 
criminal ring, but characterized as a facilitator) was sentenced 
to five months imprisonment. Furthermore, the judge ordered that all 
defendants repay the government for the stolen funds. 

--------------------------------------------- -- 
Context and Comment: How Strong of a Deterrent? 
--------------------------------------------- -- 

3. (SBU) COMMENT. This is the third corruption case since the 
current cabinet took office in 2005. The first case, which involved 
20 suspects at the Ministry of Public Works including then-Minister 
Dewanand Balesar, has been ongoing since 2005. The second case, 
also from 2005, resulted in the convictions of the Deputy Director 
and two civil servants from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal 
Husbandry, and Fisheries. At the conclusion of this third case, the 
media reported many in the courtroom expressed dismay at the lenient 
sentences. Meanwhile, anti-corruption legislation is still being 
debated by Suriname's parliament, accompanied by rumors that 
parliamentarians would prefer that it not pass because they fear 
prosecution themselves (ref B). Post finds these rumors credible, 
and will continue to follow the unfolding saga of small-scale 
official corruption in Suriname. END COMMENT 

SCHREIBER HUGHES