Legal Perspective

Legal Perspective (1216)

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Wednesday morning, February 22, 2017 the suspect B.B. (..) has been arrested in the Ostrich-investigation. She is suspected of bribing one or more immigration officials and human smuggling. The arrest is part of a lengthy investigation that has been ongoing since April 2016, code-named Ostrich.

It concerns an investigation carried out by the Unit Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling of the St. Maarten Police Force, KPSM into illegal admittance of amongst others Jamaicans, Haitians and Guyanese.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Members of the St. Maarten Police Force and the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team (RST) led by the Prosecutor’s Office and in the presence of the investigative judge held two house searches in Pointe Blanche and in Belvedere on Tuesday afternoon, February 21, 2017. Two suspects H.H.M. (22) and H.F.M. (25) were arrested. Also digital data carriers and documents were confiscated.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - In light of the ongoing investigation code-named “MARS” a house search took place on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 early in the morning in Dutch Quarter. The investigation was led by the Prosecutor’s Office in collaboration with members of the St. Maarten Police Force (KPSM) and the Detectives Cooperation Team (RST) and in the presence of an investigative Judge.

During the search the suspect K.K.K.S. (31) was arrested. She is suspected in the MARS- investigation into the disappearance of the two men S. L. Sarante-Diaz and E. Rosario. Both men were last seen in the afternoon of Monday, December 5th 2016 in the vicinity of Simpson Bay Resort at "Pelican". Since then, nothing was heard from them. Digital data carriers and documents were also confiscated during the search.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Prosecutor’s Office in good collaboration with the St. Maarten Police Force (KPSM), the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team (RST) and the French Authorities is actively searching for escaped prisoner Kathron “Kuchi” Fortune born on October 14, 1977 on the island of Grenada. He is sentenced to imprisonment at the Point Blanche prison for murder, but escaped from prison guards who had taken him for a doctor's visit in Cay Hill on February 15, 2016.

A lot of effort is being done by both Dutch and French authorities to catch “Kuchi” since there is concrete information that “Kuchi” is still on St. Maarten. In the past weeks extra efforts have been taking place in the hunt for “Kuchi, some of which may have been visible to the public. Recapturing “Kuchi” has always been one of the priorities of all justice authorities.

It is important to know that harboring "Kuchi" - or for that matter any other fugitive of the law - or helping him to escape from justice is a serious crime and punishable by law. This type of assistance will lead to the arrest and prosecution of those who make themselves guilty of assisting “Kuchi”.

AIRPORT, St. Maarten - On Friday the 17th of February 2017 a departing passenger was scanned by the new PJIA E-gate system. During the passport scanning-process, it became clear that the passenger tried to leave St Maarten using a false passport.

He was arrested by personnel of the St Maarten Police Force / Immigration and Border Protection Service, for further investigations. In cooperation with the office of Interpol St Maarten it appeared that the suspect was in the possession of several passports and ID cards, using a total of 3 different nationalities and identities.

During the investigation on one of these identities, it became clear that he was a Cuban born American citizen.

His arrest was warranted, via a so called Interpol ‘red notice’ (international arrest warrant) on request of the US authorities.

DUTCH CARIBBEAN COASTGUARD - The Caribbean Coastguard (KWCARIB) On Saturday, February 18th twenty two (22) persons arrested illegally Curacao tried to enter. They all had the Venezuelan nationality. A firearm was also intercepted. Last Friday there were already two (2) Venezuelans arrested.

The radar operator of the Rescue and Coordination Center (RCC) Coast Guard detected a suspicious contact south of Curacao. A unit from the Centre for Parera yanked equal to investigate the contact. At the height of the Spanish Water, they found an unlit vessel with twenty two people on board.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Detective Department has been engaged in the investigation of the disappearance of the two men namely S L. SARANTE-DIAZ and E. ROSARIO. Both men were last seen in the afternoon of Monday, December 5th 2016 in the vicinity of Simpson Bay Resort at "Pelican". Since then, nothing was heard from them. The investigation team has interviewed a large number of witnesses and relevant information was obtained.

 The investigation team still wants to get in touch with persons who on December 5th 2016, in the afternoon were at the Simpson Bay Resort or in the immediate area and may have seen something or heard something that can be of great importance to help resolve this matter. The investigation team will in this regard particularly like to get in touch with a young woman who was at the site of the Simpson Bay Resort in the afternoon of December 5, 2016. This woman was dressed in light blue jeans and wearing a tight pink T-shirt, she has brown complexion, short dark colored hair, she is small and has a medium to strong build. (See pics attached)

This woman was with the man shown in the picture. If anyone knows who this woman is, or if this person is you, we ask you to get in urgent contact with the investigation team by calling 54-22222, ext 211/214/215 or the anonymous tip line #9300

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - February 15th of 2017 marks exactly one year since the escape of K. FORTUNE, aka "Kuchi". The Prosecutor’s Office and KPSM is announcing that this investigation is still ongoing and that a reward of Nafls 5,000.– will be given to anyone for information that could lead to the arrest of "Kuchi".

It is also important to remind the entire community that being helpful to K. FORTUNE K., aka "Kuchi" in hiding or escaping from justice is punishable.

The Prosecutor’s Office and KPSM are requesting anyone who has information that could lead to the arrest of K. FORTUNE, aka "Kuchi" to immediately inform their Community police officers or call 542-2222 ext 214, 215 or the anonymous tip line # 9300.

On February 15th 2016, around 03.30 p.m. the message came in at the Central Police Dispatch that the detainee K. FORTUNE, aka "Kuchi", born on October 14th, 1977 on the island of Grenada, who is sentenced to imprisonment for murder at the House of Detention in Point Blanche, had escaped from the prison guards, who had taken him for a doctor's visit in Cay Hill.

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.

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