Damen Shipyards investigated for corruption over sales in the Caribbean

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After dominating the Caribbean market of the supply of patrol vessels, the Damen shipyards in Gorinchem, the Netherlands, have been the subject of an investigation by the Dutch authorities.

The investigation began with Damen’s activities in Africa, which led the company to be excluded from World Bank contracts for 18 months. Subsequently, a raid in 2017 by Dutch prosecutors at Damen’s main offices in Gorinchem led to the seizure of documents related to insured contracts in the Caribbean and Indonesia.

In ten years, from 2006 to 2016, the coastguards of Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas and, Trinidad and Tobago, have been fully equipped with Damen patrol boats.

Not only has the Commonwealth of the Caribbean proven to be a profitable market for Damen products, but Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, Venezuela and the United States have made large purchases of vessels designed by Damen, although in the cases of the United States, Canada and Mexico, ships are manufactured locally.

However, as the investigation extends, the contract for USD 150 million to supply four SPa 4207, four SPa 3007 and a Stan Lander 5612 to the Bahamas, and the contract for USD 213 million to supply four SPa 5009, two FCS 5009 and six DI1102 interceptors to Trinidad, has been subject to scrutiny with a previous proposal from Damen -2013- to supply vessels that include an OPV of 75m to Trinidad, being the main focus of their attention in Trinidad.

Cover image: TTCG Damen SPa 5009 – Credit: Sanjay Badri-Maharaj

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