Legal Perspective

Legal Perspective (932)

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - Five new lawyers have joined VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne since the beginning of this year already. Junior associates Sixiènne Janssen, Carlos Winkel and Navid Zahedi started at the office in Curaçao.

There, they were accompanied by experienced lawyer Daan Jacobs, who joined from the Dutch office Nauta Dutilh. Junior associate Lorena Navia is the newest member of the team of VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne in Bonaire.

On Tuesday 5 April, the first lawyer in this series of newcomers was sworn in by the Common Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, and of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

Sixiènne Janssen, who started in February of this year in the Corporate & Banking department, obtained her Masters Transnational Legal Studies and Contract Law at the VU University Amsterdam in 2013.

After graduation, she worked as a legal consultant for Deloitte NL for more than a year. Subsequently, she chose to continue her career at VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne in Curaçao.

sixiènne deliberately chose to switch from a role as legal consultant to that of attorney at law. “As a legal consultant, I could not represent any clients in legal proceedings. Nor could I issue any legal opinions or draw up agreements.

Although I enjoyed being a legal consultant, I was not trained to be an all-round and thorough legal adviser and representative of my clients. I do get that training at VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne, due to which I can give better substance to my ambitions.” The administration of the oath was a special moment for Sixiènne. “By taking the oath my switch from being a lawyer to being an attorney at law is official.

In addition, I thought it was very nice that I could share this moment with my colleagues, friends and my relatives originating from Curaçao.”

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - Last Friday the court of first instance on Curacao ruled that lottery boss Robbie Dos Santos will have to pay a fine in the case of money laundering that was brought against him.

Apart from a fine, 72.5 million guilders was confiscated from the businessman accounts.

As we hear in this report from Gonzalo Cuales of Z86 radio in Willemstad, questions are now being raised as to if the lottery boss will appeal the verdict of the court.

More now via PodCast.

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Trinidad and Tobago has established a registry for sex offenders, but National Security Minister Edmund Dillon said it would only be available to the police.

Dillon told legislators Friday that the registry was established on December 22 last year by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

“This electronic registry is intended to maintain a report of the particulars of sex offenders who have been mandated by the court to give notification. This information will be maintained in a registry to be accessed by authorised officers and investigators in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service only,” he told Parliament.

He said the police were now engaged in a training and sensitisation exercise with respect to operation of the registry and accessibility to it, as well as restructuring staff requirements to facilitate its requirement.

“Full implementation of the sex offender’s registry and the accompanying station sex offender registry across all nine police divisions will be implemented by June 2016.”

Dillion said he did not believe that it would be better to have public access to facilitate the protection of children, saying “I believe it is designed for police information only and not for the public”.

BES islands - The management of the Dutch Caribbean Police Force is pleased to announce that the crime rates generally show a declining trend on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

Recently KPCN, together with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, presented the crime figures for 2015 to both the Executive Council, Island Council and the press on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The realization that the increase or decrease in crime has multiple factors, is there. But there is no denying that the police deployment is an important factor.

The figures for last year show a clear downward trend, despite the fact that KPCN is dealing with a tight occupation.

Given the figures, it can be concluded that in 2015 the number of road accidents involving injuries declined slightly while the number of traffic accidents with only damage increased slightly on Bonaire.

Robberies have declined by 39% and halved compared with 2013. Threats and domestic violence shows a decrease of about 25% and cases of assault, public violence and murder/manslaughter remained unchanged.

Domestic burglaries have seen a decline of 13%, while business burglaries increased by 40%. The total number of property crimes decreased by 29%. Drug-related offenses have remained the same.

The number of traffic accidents in 2015 on St. Eustatius shows that they have remained stable. In 2015 there were eight accidents with injuries.

In 2015, one robbery was committed compared to 3 in 2014; abuse cases have remained stable. Domestic violence and sexual offenses have declined by 50%.

Domestic burglaries have seen a decline of 50%, but an increase of 50% can be seen in business burglaries. The total number of property crimes increased slightly. There is also a notable increase in theft of motor vehicles and scooters. The drug-related offenses remained stable. At the end of 2015 a group of minors who are suspected of a series of robberies were detained.

Saba has seen a drop in road accidents by 50% and a decrease of 60% in abuse cases. Threats have also decreased by approximately 35% while domestic violence cases have decreased by 23%. Unfortunately, there was a victim in a murder case.

It can be seen that the number of burglaries have decreased by 50%, and that the business burglaries are steady at 0. The total number of property crimes has decreased again, but there is a notable increase in theft of motor vehicles.

The decrease of one type of crime is more visible than another. KPCN, together with all chain partners, will pay special attention in the coming year/years to reverse this trend.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - International publisher Chambers & Partners has launched the 2016-edition of its global ranking of law firms – Chambers Global. This year, six Dutch Caribbean law firms and thirteen individual lawyers have been ranked in bands from 1 to 6 (with 1 being the best).

Spigt Dutch Caribbean and VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne are the two firms with the desired Band 1 firm status, like last year. VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne is the only firm with four individually ranked lawyers. HBN Law has two ranked attorneys and all other firms have one ranked lawyer.

VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne is described by Chambers as "a highly regarded firm that provides a full range of legal services across the Dutch Caribbean […]. The commercial and litigation team has experience in complex, high-profile matters, […].” Spigt Dutch Caribbean is described as a firm that "offers expert advice in litigation as well as commercial, tax and finance matters. The firm has substantial experience in the banking and insurance fields as well as in major corporate acquisitions.” The other ranked firms are HBN Law, SMS Attorneys at Law, Soliana Bonapart & Aardenburg and STvB.

Chambers & Partners also ranks individuals. This year, thirteen lawyers receive this honorable praise. Five of this elite group of lawyers are partners at Band 1 firms VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne (4) and Spigt Dutch Caribbean (1). New this year is that both Aruba and Bonaire have their first ranked lawyer. The individually ranked lawyers in Band 1 are: Randolph van Eps (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne), Karel Frielink (BZSE Attorneys at Law), Frank Kunneman (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne), Eric de Vries (HBN Law) and Martijn Welten (Spigt Dutch Caribbean).

The annual global ranking is based on recommendations of clients and peers, supported by database research, and therefore offers an independent evaluation for organizations that are looking to instruct a lawyer.

More information and the rankings can be found on and

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Buncamper tax evasion and forgery case is now over.

The case came to an end Thursday after the defense defended against the charges of the prosecution which included demands for 18 months in prison for the couple Buncamper of which 6 is conditional and a three year probation period.

Gijsberta 15 months of which 4 months is conditional and a three year probation period.

Harvertong 12 months prison term of which four months is conditional and three years probation and for Walters it was requested 4 months prison and completely conditional.

On Thursday the Judge announced that he will give his judgment in the case on the 7th of April 2016.


PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The office of the Attorney General based in Curacao stated on Thursday that they pleased with the manner in which the judicial procedure against MP the Honorable Silvio Matser was handled.

According to Norman Serphos of the Attorney-General’s office; All are equal !

The Public Prosecutor's office is pleased with the March 16th disposal of The joint court of justice on Sint Maarten regarding the order received by the prosecutor's office for the prosecution of S.J.M.

The joint court of justice in their March 16th press release gave an in-depth and very clear interpretation of the term "prosecution" as it pertains to suspects who are also politicians.

Basically the joint court of justice states in its disposal that the Prosecutor's office does not need an order for prosecution from the joint court of justice to start an investigation and make use of the powers of prosecution regarding a suspect who is also a politician.

In other words when starting an investigation the public prosecutor's office does not have to take into consideration whether a person is a politician or not. All are equal.

Only when a suspect who is also a politician is actually prosecuted by being subpoenaed or brought before the examining magistrate to be put in pre-trial detention ("bewaring") the public prosecutor's office needs to request the joint court of justice for an order of prosecution.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Wednesday March 9th 2016 a team from the Interpol Cybercrime Capacity Building Program in Latin America and the Caribbean represented by Mr. Adrian Acosta ( Buenos Aires) and Mr. Steve Honnis ( Singapore) met with the Interpol representative on Sint Maarten and representatives from the Public Prosecutors Office and Police Department.

The program in question seeks to enhance the capacity of targeted beneficiary countries in order to prevent, detect and respond to cyber threats using the latest techniques and field technology.

Target countries are:

Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Sint Maarten, Sint Kitts and Nevis, Sint Lucia, Sint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos. 

In the framework of the Needs Assessment Phase, the INTERPOL project team is conducting a series of regional assessment visits to the beneficiary countries, including Sint Maarten.

The aim of this visit is to undertake a Rapid Cyber Assessment, which will survey existing infrastructure available to our law enforcement agencies to counter cybercrime and meet with key stakeholders. The overall aim of this exercise is to tailor activities in the framework of this programme, including training and operations, to most appropriately meet regional needs.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - If the prosecutor has his own way, Robbie Dos Santos will have to sit in prison for 3 years.

That is the punishment the office of the prosecutor is seeking in the case of money laundering brought against the Robbie Lottery boss.

They are also requesting that all his assets be frozen as well.

We have more in this report via PodCast filed by Gonzalo Cuales of Z-86 radio in Curacao. 

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Financial expert Emilio Kalmera last week won his court case against the SMHDF.

Kalmera, a secretary and the former Director of the SMHDF was suspended because of alleged financial irregularities at the Foundation.

After an appeal process Kalmera won his case and is now subject to a payout from the Foundation.

More now via PodCast.

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