Legal Perspective

Legal Perspective (841)

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Justice on December 2nd issued its first temporary residency permit to a family under the country’s human trafficking victim’s protection regulation.

The National Reporting Bureau (NRB) for Human Trafficking which falls under the Ministry of Justice, recently informed the Sint Maarten community that the country does have a human trafficking victim’s protection regulation. This regulation was published in the National Gazette in 19th September 2014.

A case of Human Trafficking has been reported to the NRB on Human Trafficking. This case was seen by the authorities as a form of exploitation. The family, who were the victims in this case, were granted a temporary permit under the Human Trafficking victim protection regulation mentioned above.

Individuals who are a victim of human trafficking can contact the NRB directly who will in turn issue the relevant temporary residence permit allowing them to remain in the country during the criminal investigation and ensuring legal proceedings once it has been determined that the person is a victim of aforementioned.

Article 7, point five, of the National Ordinance Admittance and Expulsion, explains the procedures to apply for a temporary residence permit.  

Through the “Temporary residency” regulation victims are given the opportunity, and are being encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the offenders of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them, and the Sint Maarten NRB continues to work to prevent the aforementioned from taking place on Sint Maarten.

To report suspected cases of human trafficking, call Tel.: (721) 542-1553 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All calls and emails are kept confidential! The NRB office hours are from 8:00am till 17.00pm, Monday through Friday, and is located at A.Th. Illidge road #6, Phillipsburg.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – Robbie Dos Santos was arraigned on Friday morning for sixteen offenses.

This is according to the Public Prosecutor in the criminal case Bientu.

The OM indicated that the lottery boss would fabricate his own lottery tickets and sold these. No one could then win the lottery.

The prosecution also accused Dos Santos of large scale money laundering and tax fraud. He did this with three other lotteries.

The pre-trial continues on Tuesday, December 22. Then the court will decide on a number of requests from the defense and put a date for the substantive hearing.

HOLLAND - The trial of PVV leader Geert Wilders on charges of inciting racism and hatred will start on March 18 with a procedural hearing, The Hague’s district court said on Friday.

The hearing will focus on the investigation into the charges against Wilders and set dates for witness appearances and the rest of the trial.

Wilders faces prosecution for his comments about Moroccan nationals on March 12 and 19, 2015, during and after the local election campaign. In March, Wilders told supporters in Loosduinen that he would rather there were ‘fewer Moroccans’ in The Hague.

Seven days later, during a post vote meeting with supporters, Wilders asked the crowd ‘and do you want more or fewer Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?’ To which the crowd chanted ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’. ‘We’ll arrange that,’ Wilders said, smiling, when the chanting died down.

The comments led to over 6,400 complaints to the police and a slew of resignations from the PVV.

Offence

The public prosecution department says that while it considers Wilders has insulted people on racial grounds and encouraged discrimination and hatred, this does not mean he has committed a criminal offence.

In June 2011, Wilders was found not guilty of charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and non-westerm immigrants by judges in Amsterdam.

The court ruled that some of Wilders’ statements were insulting, shocking and on the edge of legal acceptibility, but that they were made in the broad context of a political and social debate on the multi-cultural society.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - Police on Curacao are investigating the murder of a female in what is believed to be a crime of passion. The incident occurred on Sunday night.

Currently, one man is assisting the police with their investigation.

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

HARBOUR VIEW, St. Maarten – On December 14, 2015, His Excellency the Governor of Sint Maarten, drs. E.B. Holiday, received a draft national decree from Prime-Minister William Marlin regulating the amendment of the decree of October 29, 2015 to dissolve Parliament and call elections.

The Governor after evaluation of the draft national decree signed the national decree which calls for postulation on August 8, 2016, early elections on Monday, September 26, 2016, and the dissolution of Parliament on Monday, October 31, 2016.

The decree enters into force immediately. As a result there can be no further discussion as to whether early elections will be held on September 26, 2016.

Going forward Governor Holiday hopes that this offers a balanced and sustainable resolution to the current differences of opinion and appeals to the members of Parliament, Government, and public to join forces and work to address the challenges our country faces aimed at serving the interest of the people of Sint Maarten.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The National Reporting Bureau (NRB) for Human Trafficking which falls under the Ministry of Justice, hereby informs the Sint Maarten community that the country does have a human trafficking victim’s protection regulation.  This regulation was published in the National Gazette in 19th September 2014.

Individuals who are a victim of human trafficking can contact the authorities who will in turn issue the relevant temporary residence permit allowing them to remain in the country during the criminal investigation and ensuring legal proceedings.

Article 7, point five, of the National Ordinance Admittance and Expulsion, explains the procedures to apply for a temporary residence permit.  

This is one of the policy instruments implemented according to the action plan Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2014. Through the “Temporary residency” regulation victims are given the opportunity, and are being encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the offenders of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them, and the Sint Maarten NRB continues to work to prevent the aforementioned from taking place on Sint Maarten.

To report suspected cases of human trafficking, call Tel.:  (721) 542-1553 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All calls and emails are kept confidential!  The NRB office hours are from 8:00am till 17.00pm, Monday through Friday, and is located at A.Th. Illidge road #6, Phillipsburg.

HARBOR VIEW, St. Maarten - The Social Economic Council (SER) has taken note of the verdict of Wednesday, December 9, of the Civil Service Court concerning its former senior policy advisor A.J. Alberts.

SER is not in full agreement with the Court’s ruling. Taking into consideration that the administrative appeal is still ongoing, the advisory body is moving forward.

SER will continue with its mission statement, and its commitment to the people of St. Maarten, whose wellbeing is the main focus and priority of the institution.

The SER wishes Mr. Alberts all the best with his future endeavors.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Sint Maarten Housing Finance (“SMHFF”) hereby announces to the general public that as per January 1, 2016 it will no longer provide financing for the purchase of dwellings or any other purpose for that matter.

Because of macro economical market changes the original core purpose of SMHFF to offer financing to the lesser privileged persons in our community is no longer required. Local financing institutions/banks have been offering mortgage loans for rates with which SMHFF cannot compete, for years.

Another main reason to discontinue the financing activities of SMHFF is the discovery by new Managing Board of SMHFF of severe financial shortages and/or significant unaccounted amounts in the financial administration over the book years 2011 till 2014. This is time period wherein Mr. H. Lynch managed SMHFF.

The preliminary findings show that at least ANG 1.2 million is missing in SMHFF or has not been accounted for by the previous manager of SMHFF, over the book years 2011 till 2014.

The discovery of referenced shortages was delayed because SMHFF also did not make any financial statements or budget for the book years 2011 till 2014 under the tenure of Mr. Lynch. Moreover, because SMHFF, contrary to Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation (“SMHDF”), does not have a statutory Supervisory Board of Directors.

The new Managing Board of SMHFF also discovered that under the management of Mr. H. Lynch various core tasks/activities of SMHDF were shifted to SMHFF, where

business transactions could be concluded without any –direct- supervision by the Supervisory Board of Directors of SMHFF.

SMHFF is in the process of restructuring and amending its articles of incorporation to reflect its current activities and create an organization with the appropriate checks and balances.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - A strategy has to be developed in the combating of the crime situation on the island, mentioned interim Minister of Justice, the Honorable Richard Gibson on Wednesday.

That issue was a point of discussion during the Minister’s visit to Holland last week.

Speaking at the weekly press briefing on Wednesday, he said as a result of his meeting, six (6) experts have been approved to come to the island to analyze the situation.

The Minister also addressed a pending meeting with the police union, which did not go ahead.

According to the Minister, he personally made an appointment with the board of the union, however, only one member showed up for the meeting. More can now be heard via PodCast.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - On Thursday 26 November, VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne and The Galan Group organized the annual Day of the Supervisory Board in Curaçao.

During this meeting in the auditorium of the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten, they looked back at ten years of Civil Code Book 2. In addition, four experts discussed the need, bottlenecks and future of supervision on financial institutions in the Dutch Caribbean during a discussion round with the participants.

The author of ‘our’ book 2, prof. mr. Peter van Schilfgaarde, was put in the limelight in honor of his eightieth birthday. In his speech, he discussed the development of corporate law in Curaçao. He mentioned that there are several areas in which the Dutch Caribbean islands have chosen their own path and are even ahead of the Netherlands.

A good example is the new law on partnerships. With increasing attention for the right of investigation and directors’ and officers’ liability, supervision currently is a worldwide hype. After Peter van Schilfgaarde, prof. mr. Gerard van Solinge presented more information on the right of investigation. He discussed the key points, objectives and various phases of an investigation procedure, which take place relatively often in Curaçao. As a result, the question was asked by the audience whether the Joint Court has adequate capacity for this purpose. According to Van Solinge, we do not have to worry about that.  

Rogier van den Heuvel, lawyer and senior associate with VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne, discussed corporate governance with state-owned companies. He explained how book 2 of the Civil Code has provided a quality regulatory framework for corporate governance in Curaçao. State-owned companies can be considered regular companies in most respects. As a result, directors of state-owned companies in general suffice with keeping in mind the normal corporate interest.

Frank Kunneman, senior partner with VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne and specialized in corporate governance, introduced a number of questions regarding supervision and regulation that are hot topics for the financial sector at the moment. His presentation was the basis for a lively sofa discussion with moderator Steven Martina (Guardian Group Fatum), Charlene Alberto (Vidanova), Leo Rigaud (SFT Bank) and Ian de Silva (MCB). They discussed issues such as reliability and expertise of supervisors, and the increasing number of rules the financial sector has to comply with.

The Day of the Supervisory Board was concluded festively. Peter van Schilfgaarde, who celebrates his eightieth birthday in January, was addressed by Gerard van Solinge. In this manner, prof. Van Schilfgaarde was thanked for all the work he has done in the Dutch Caribbean in the past twenty years in order to arrive at the current, modern Curaçao corporate law.

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