On August 12, 2020, the police in Suriname issued an arrest warrant for Gillmore Hoefdraad, the former Finance Minister. The warrant suspects him of 11 criminal offenses, including violations of the banking and anti-corruption laws, fraud and embezzlement.
At the end of July the Suriname Attorney General Roy Baidjnath Panday forbade Hoefdraad from leaving the country.
The investigation against Hoefdraad, 58 years of age, concern the irregularities at the Central Bank of Suriname (CBvS). In February, Surinamese authorities arrested former CBvS Governor Robert van Trikt. Suriname authorities discharged von Trikt for irregularities and misappropriations at the Central Bank. The alleged wrongdoing included the purchase of a custom-made $300,000 luxury Land Rover in the U.K., an armored Lexus vehicle, and his approval for the BvS to acquire several properties.
Surinamese authorities suspect Hoefdraad’s participation in the alleged real estate swindle. Investigators have discovered documents indicating that in June and September 2019, while Van Trikt was governor, Hoefdraad sold 17 buildings to CBvS for €105 million. Surinamese authorities have also arrested Van Trikt’s business partner Ashween Angnoe and Faranaaz Alibaks Hausil, manager Legal, Compliance & International Affairs at the Central Bank. Prior to his appointment as Minister of Finance, Hoefdraad was the governor of the Central Bank of Suriname.
In May Attorney General Baidjnath-Panday asked the National Assembly’s permission to initiate a criminal prosecution against then Minister Hoefdraad. However, the National Assembly did not grant the request due to ministerial immunity.
The Surinamese media has reported Hoefdraad has brought summary proceedings against the Surinamese government because he thinks he is unfairly being prosecuted. His counsel argue that, since the National Assembly’s permission was required and was not granted, the initiation of criminal charges constitutes double jeopardy. After elections on May 25, 2020, the government has changed.
Improving anti-corruption and governance is a priority of the new administration of Chan Santokhi, a former chief of police.
According to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force 11th Report on the Mutual Evaluation Report of Suriname for the annual period on which it reported, Suriname made no extradition requests. However, if Hoefdraad entered Guyana improperly, Guyana can deport or surrender him to Suriname without the need to extradite. On August 9, 2020, Albert Ramchand Ramdin, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs in Suriname, held a joint press conference with his Guyanese counterpart Hugh Todd in Guyana. They promised to cooperate a broad range of topics. The two ministers are meeting in September to develop a strategic agenda for the next high-level meeting of the ministers, which is likely to be in Paramaribo. The current issue of the IELR will have additional discussion of this matter.
 Id. Implicated ex-minister may be hiding in Guyana, The Daily Herald, July 28, 2020.
 Implicated ex-minister may be hiding in Guyana, supra.
 For additional background on anti-corruption and governance issues in Suriname, see Bruce Zagaris, Legal aspects of helping Suriname achieve better anti-corruption and governance, GlobalAmericans, September 2, 2020 https://theglobalamericans.org/2020/09/legal-aspects-of-helping-suriname-achieve-better-anti-corruption-and-governance/; see also Dr. Scott MacDonald, Suriname and the Need for Good Governance, March 10, 2020, CSIS, https://www.csis.org/analysis/suriname-and-need-good-governance.