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Curacao Gets US Assistance In Illegal Gambling Case

U.S. authorities have frozen $28 million in illegally obtained profits from a gambling ring after being asked for assistance by Curacao authorities, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The report states that U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a restraining order against three UBS accounts in Miami. The accounts are reportedly controlled by Robertico Alejandro dos Santos, who is currently being investigated in Curacao for a plethora of illegal activities including tax fraud, forgery, and money laundering. Dos Santos is the half brother of Curacao Finance Minister George Jamaloodin, who is believed to have sold millions of dollars in fake lottery tickets known to locals as "Robbie's Lottery."

The report also states that the U.S. Department of Justice received a request for help from the Curacao Public Prosecutor's Office in July. In the request Curacao authorities claimed that dos Santos has acquired more than $52 million in profit from the fraudulent activities since 2004. The prosecutors believed they had established that dos Santos' had control over three companies with assets of roughly $28 million at UBS. Those companies are Ponsford Overseas Ltd., Carribean Investment Group Ltd., Tula Finance Ltd.

A raid of dos Santos' Curacao offices revealed fake lottery tickets and more than $282,000 in cash.

Judge Kollar-Kottely was unsure as to whether or not she had the authority to issue a restraining order for a foreign government and asked the DOJ for assistance. They then explained that Congress had enacted a measure last year making it easier for the Justice Department to issue freeze orders under such circumstances. She then put her order into effect.

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