Growers in Curaçao swindle local supermarket

Two brothers growing fruit, vegetables and herbs in Curaçao have swindled a local supermarket. With the aid of a fraudulent supermarket employee, the supermarket paid far too much for fresh produce shipments. This all came to light last year, and at the start of this year, the supermarket employee had to appear in court, because he challenged his dismissal. The judge did not agree with him, because he had cheated quite a bit when buying fruit and vegetables.

Paid too much
The employee was an assistant manager of the fresh produce department in the supermarket in Curaçao. For years, he bought fruit and vegetables from two brothers who grow fruit, vegetables and herbs on the island. In the summer of 2017, however, the supermarket switched to a digital system: the receipts were scanned, and everything was put on a list. It then became obvious that too much was paid to the brothers for their fruit and vegetables. Moreover, the receipts were often not scanned or signed, and earlier documentation had disappeared.

Not that many vegetables
Once they put the figures next to each other, the supermarket noticed something very strange. “The largest grower on the island, Soltuna, supplies for about NAF 15,000.- to Centrum Mahaai every month. The brothers, who have a small production company, were paid on average about NAF 36,000.- per month. It’s impossible to locally produce the amounts that would require these payments,” they said. It also turned out that they had paid five times as much to the brothers than a nearby supermarket, while they’re only 1.5 times as big as them.

Since these discoveries, the supermarket no longer buys fruit and vegetables from the brothers. “The purchases from others have only increased a little bit,” they say. It’s therefore clear to them that the supermarket employee cheated. The judge agrees with them, and the man’s dismissal will remain in effect.


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