Legal Perspective

Legal Perspective (1180)

CURAÇAO - On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the extradition of Ramphis "Ronchi" Rietwijk (1965), Rogelio "Greg" Koeiman (1968) and Gilbertico "Kalala" Felecia (1978) to the United States has taken place. They left Curacao (Felecia and Rietwijk) and St. Maarten (Koeiman) on a special flight of the US authorities.

The extradition of Koeiman, Rietwijk and Felecia has known a long trajectory which started in 2013 with the arrest and extradition requests for the three by the United States. This in connection with allegations of involvement in at least two drug shipments from Philipsburg to the US. Their apprehension was ordered in July 2013 by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

POINTE BLANCHE, St. Maarten - On Tuesday February 14th at approximately 10.00 a.m. police and detectives were sent to the Pointe Blanche Prison where a serious fight was going on between inmates. On the scene the investigating officers learnt that indeed a fight had taken place and that one person suffered an injury to his head.

He was taken to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for treatment. The reason why and who the others involved in this fight were, is still unclear.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Tuesday February 14th 2017 at approximately 10:05 a.m. the suspect with initials E.L. Jr. for whom an arrest warrant was issued since March 2015 was arrested by police. The arrest took place in the vicinity of the Police Head Quarters in Philipsburg after he was spotted and stopped by police driving as a passenger of a black SUV.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Tuesday February 14th two men was arrested by police in connection with the ongoing home invasion investigation which took place in the evening of December 7th 2016 at a home in the area of Pelican Keys. During this home invasion four masked and armed men forced their way into the home of the victim and assaulted him. The suspects then went on to rob the victim of his bank/ credits card. One of the suspects was later caught on video camera at different automated bank machines using the stolen cards from the victim.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Tuesday February 14th the Police Department held general controls on different locations on the island. The controls started at approximately 06:30 a.m. on the Zagersgut road, where a total of about 40 vehicles including heavy transport vehicles, which were not allowed to be on the public street between 06:00 a.m. and 08:00 a.m.

The controls continued at approximately 09:00 a.m. at the entrance to Port Sint Maarten and A.C. Wathey Cruise Facilities where all heavy transport vehicles such as dump trucks and trailer trucks going into en leaving the harbor premises were controlled. These vehicles were controlled for safety aspects and to verify if all documents for these vehicles were in order and also if the drivers were in possession of the required drivers license to operate these vehicles.

Caribbean Coastguard - Last Sunday afternoon the Caribbean Coastguard (KWCARIB) has contributed to a significant drug catch by colleagues of the Colombian Navy. The patrol aircraft of the Coast Guard, the DASH-8, in collaboration with Americans 'Go Fast' followed. Thus, the fast boat could be used for the coast of Colombia by units of the Colombian Navy. The go-fast was initially left for the North but had to turn around because of bad luck. The load of cocaine, weighing 412 kilograms, was arrested confiscated and the two crew members.

Coast Guard assists drug interception in Colombia.

Last Sunday afternoon the Dutch Caribbean Coastguard (DCCG) assisted in the interception of a significant amount of drugs by the colleagues of the Colombian Navy.

PHILIPBURG, St. Maarten - The Special Unit Robbery is presently is presently investigating an armed robbery which took place on Monday February 13th at approximately 02.00 a.m. at Beach Plaza Casino on the Walter Nisbeth road in Philipsburg.

According to reports at two unmasked men both with a firearm robbed that cashier of an undisclosed amount of cash. After committing this act both men calmly left the scene on foot.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The detective department is conducting an investigation into the shooting that took place during the evening hours of Saturday November 4th, 2016 at approximately 11 p.m. in a home that is situated on the Back Street in down town Philipsburg.

Under the direction of the Public Prosecutor’s offices a team of detectives are following up on different leads into this incident and are soliciting the public’s assistance as the investigation continues.

Detectives are interested in speaking to the drivers of the dark colored Hyundia Sonata and a white Kia Picanto that happened to be on the scene when this act was being committed. Both drivers of these vehicles are potential witnesses to the shooting as both reverse at high speeds away from the scene of the crime as the assailants were carrying out their assault. 

Detectives are also interested in speaking to some people who were walking next to the Kadaster building in the direction of Front Street as the crime was taking place. The person’s in question consisted of one man and three women. They were seen walking together along the Cannegieter Street just behind the office of the utility company GEBE. These four individuals walked from the Cannegieter Street into the Hensy Beaujon Steeg (this is the side road between the office of the Kadaster and New Testament Church of God)As these four individuals were about the cross from de Hensy Beaujon Steeg onto the Back Street a white vehicle drove pass them. This vehicle then stopped directly in front of them in the middle of Back Street.   

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Thursday February 9th 2017 police continued with their general controls as was published on social media and local newspapers last week. One of these general controls was held between 08.00 p.m. and 12.00 a.m. on different locations on the Dutch side of the island including the round-a-bout at the Grand Marche Supermarket in Cul-de–sac. During the general control at this location a total of 46 vehicles were stopped and controlled.

These controls led to the arrest of three men with initials H.R.P. (26), J.J.A (21) and J.H.A. (19) for the possession a substantial amount of marihuana that was found in the vehicle the suspects were driving in at the time of the control. The marihuana was found by the Justice K-9 Unit after they were called in to assist in the search. The suspects in question were all arrested on the spot and taken to the Philipsburg Police Station where they remained in custody for further investigation. The vehicle and the marihuana were also confiscated for further investigation. (See pics of drugs attached.)

As the controls continued at approximately 10.30 p.m. at that same location, two police officers taking part in the controls were intentionally driven into by two vehicles driven by unknown persons who, for whatever reason, did not want to be stopped by police. The officers in question gave the drivers of the vehicles a timely and noticeable stop sign and directed them where they should bring their vehicle to a stop to be controlled.

These drivers however did not adhere to the stop sign and other instructions given by the police officers but instead increased the speed of their vehicles and drove directly at the officers obligating them to jump out of the away to avoid being ran over.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - During the criminal proceedings on February, 9 2017, the Prosecutor asked jail sentences against the three suspects of an armed robbery committed on October 19, 2016. Three masked men drove up to Budget Marine in Cole Bay in a white Suzuki Vitara. Two men stepped out of the car and walked into the store.

One threatened the personnel with a fire arm or something that looked like an firearm while the other one took the cash: 670 US dollars, two cash drawers each containing at least 110 US dollars and one or more blue cash deposit bags. After the robbery the three men sped off and tried to dispose of the car by lighting it on fire, but the car did not catch fire. One of the suspects walked to his house got his own car and returned to pick up the other two suspects.

The prosecutor deemed it legally and convincingly proven that the three men committed the robbery based on video footage of the robbery, statements of the suspects, data on phones confiscated during a search at the house of one of the suspects and also dna recovered from clothes found in the back of the car. The Prosecutor believed that unconditional jail sentences were in place seeing the seriousness of the crime committed.

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