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Armed robbery at bar and restaurant

SUCKER GARDEN - The Special Unit Robbery is presently investigating an armed robbery which took place on Saturday February 10th at approximately 10.00 p.m. at Beauty Crystal Bar and Restaurant located on the Sucker Garden road.

According to information one suspect dressed in dark clothing armed with a handgun walked directly up to the female manager who was busy in the kitchen at the time. The suspect threatened her with his fire-arm and then took her to the cash register which is located in the bar section.

The suspect then stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and also threatened the customers who were in the bar. One customer was robbed of his money. After committing his act the suspect fled the scene on foot. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Community Mobile Dental Consultations available on Tuesday

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Community dental care will be available from the mobile dental bus on Tuesday, February 13 from 2.00pm to 4.30pm at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg where Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is located.

Dentist Hilda Guevara will be volunteering her tie to carry out the consultations.

Dental caries is a major public health problem globally and is the most widespread noncommunicable disease (NCD), according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is also the most prevalent condition included in the 2015 Global Burden of Disease Study, ranking first for decay of permanent teeth (2.3 billion people) and 12th for deciduous teeth (560 million children).

Dental caries can be prevented by avoiding dietary free sugars. Moreover, dental caries is largely preventable through simple and cost-effective population-wide and individual interventions, whereas treatment is costly, and is often unavailable in low- and middle-income countries.

In low-income countries, the majority of dental caries goes untreated. Teeth affected by caries are often extracted (pulled out) when they cause pain or discomfort.

Severe dental caries can impair quality of life. For example, dental caries may cause difficulties in eating and sleeping, and in its advanced stages (abscesses), it may result in pain and chronic systemic infection.

Dental caries is also associated with adverse growth patterns. Further, tooth decay is a frequent cause of absence from school or work.

Use the opportunity on Tuesday to get your teeth checked.

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SZV ASKING EMPLOYERS TO DECLARE AND PAY PREMIUMS ONLINE

PHILIPSBURG Social & Health Insurances SZV has introduced several online services in 2017, including the Employer Portal where companies can submit their ZV/OV declarations digitally. Employers are obligated by law to submit and pay their ZV/OV declarations by the 15th of each month.

AOV/AWW payments are also due by the 15th of each month. As per March 1st, cash payments will no longer be accepted at SZV. There are four (4) methods of payment possible and companies are asked to make use of one of the most convenient, being online banking.

Payment alternatives include use of online banking – via the employer portal or directly via their bank website, direct deposit to the account(s) of SZV at a bank branch, maestro card payment at SZV office or check deposit at SZV office.

The online portal offers companies the freedom to both declare and pay online, 24/7 without having to visit the offices of SZV. In 2018, SZV will be working on a pilot project to expand the portal to offer the possibility to submit employee mutations online as well. Companies seeking more information or a demonstration can contact SZV to schedule a session with an account manager.

As more individuals and companies are steering towards online services, SZV is happy to provide these as part of its SZV 3.0. Strategy to improve customer service. The online appointment request option is to date still the most popular online service, customer contact via the website and Facebook page have proven to be customer favorites as well; offering more flexibility for customers and faster response times. More online options can be explored via the website www.szv.sx.

Questions about payment options can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 546-6782, SZV Facebook page or visit our customer service desks at our offices. Employers may visit the Employers desk directly in Building 1, Level 1.

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ST. MAARTEN’S VERY OWN TOPPER'S RHUM DISTILLERY WINS USA TODAY'S 10BEST RUM DISTILLERY AWARD

PHILIPSBURG – If there's one thing the Caribbean is known for as much as its beaches, is its rum. The spirit was first distilled on the islands during the 17th century when sugar plantation slaves discovered molasses – a byproduct of the refining process – could be fermented into alcohol. Caribbean rum producers have spent the centuries since perfecting the process of distillation, aging and blending, and many of the world's best rums come from the Caribbean.

Topper's Rhum Distillery wins USA TODAY’s 10Best Caribbean Rum Distillery award proudly placing in the top five. This prestigious competition is amongst some of the most famous rum brands in the world such as Bacardi, Angostura, Brugal, Cruzan, Mount Gay, Appleton Estate and Barbancourt.

USA TODAY’s 10Best.com, provides travelers with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content around the world. At its core is the team of well-traveled and well-educated travel experts who are not only experts in their fields, but also discriminating in their tastes. They carefully selected the top 20 best rum distillery nominees and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Topper’s Rhum, a truly locally made product, is a world-class premium rhum that is handmade, bottled, and packaged with precision right here in Cole Bay, St. Maarten. Topper’s Rhum uses only all natural premium ingredients and no preservatives. They are committed to producing the world’s best tasting rhum and flavored rhum spirits using the highest standards of quality. They are re-inventing rhum by continually innovating and delivering unique products to their customers worldwide. The company is very environmentally conscientious and well known for their signature reusable swing-top bottles. This official St. Maarten rhum is the only spirit distilled and exported from St. Maarten. They currently export to 6 countries and over 21 states in the USA and are the official rhum of the Dutch Army. By constantly expanding overseas, they are also notably promoting St. Maarten internationally. In addition, the products are sold online to almost anywhere in the world. Topper’s Rhum has been awarded 24 medals given by the most prominent rum tasting contests in the world.

Topper’s Rhum Distillery is one of the top unique places to visit on St. Maarten, according to the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau. They are open from 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday – Friday and 9:00am – 12:00pm on Saturdays for free rhum tasting and shopping.

Tours are available for $20 at 10:00am and 4:00pm Monday – Saturday by calling 721-520-0008 or booking online at www.toppersrhumtours.com and Sundays are available by appointment only. The hands-on tour is 90 minutes. A guide will walk you through the 6,000 sq. ft. distillery where you will learn a little history of rum making and a behind the scenes look at how they ferment, distill, blend and bottle. At the tasting bar you can try some of their 50 unique flavors that are in development and enjoy unlimited samples of all of their artisanal products as well as their famous rhum cake. Visit their boutique where you can purchase unique St. Maarten gifts and of course, rhum including limited edition flavors that are only available at the distillery.

 

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Threat to Carnival Activities Twarted. Defence force placed on high alert

SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Security forces have been carrying out searches after the U.S. Southern Command provided intelligence information to Trinidad & Tobago intelligence services within law enforcement regarding a potential attack on Carnival festivities that would kick-off next week.  Law enforcement believe they have thwarted a terrorist attack that was imminent. 

Carnival attracts tourists and citizens to a number of activities.  Intensive security measures are being put in place at Trinidad’s International Airport Piarco.  Several thousand visitors are expected over the weekend on the island as Carnival activities kick-off.

A number of persons have been detained for questioning while searches have been carried out. 

Trinidad & Tobago Police Service’s (TTPS) disclosed the aforementioned.  Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force members have been placed on high alert and will be dispatched to work with TTPS. 

Approximately 125 Trinidadians have joined the terrorist group ISIS and have fought for the group in Syria/Iraq over the years.

The United Kingdom has issued a foreign travel advice to its nationals which reads as follows: “Summary and Terrorism section – updated information and advice on the threat from terrorism in Trinidad and Tobago, reflecting an increased threat; terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Trinidad and Tobago; the Trinidad and Tobago authorities have arrested some individuals who planned to carry out attacks against Carnival on 12 and 13 February 2018; an attack is still possible; the Trinidad and Tobago government is increasing security measures for the Carnival; you should remain vigilant and avoid crowded places and large gatherings

“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Trinidad and Tobago. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in crowded spaces and places visited by foreigners.

“The Trinidad and Tobago authorities have arrested some individuals who planned to carry out attacks against Carnival on 12 and 13 February 2018. An attack is still possible. The Trinidad and Tobago government is increasing security measures for the Carnival. You should remain vigilant and avoid crowded places and large gatherings.

“Over 30,000 British nationals visit Trinidad and Tobago every year. Most visits are trouble-free.”

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

PHOTO CUTLINE: Personnel from the Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force.

defence force one

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Dutch Quarter Sewage Pit Maintenance on February 17

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that on Saturday, February 17 sewage pit maintenance will be carried out in Dutch Quarter.

These maintenance works will be carried out between 7.00AM and 11.00AM on February 17.

The works will be carried out from the vicinity of the former Dr. Bryson Clinic on the A.T. Illidge road to the Jean ‘Tata’ Brooks round-a-bout.

Motorists are advised to be observant of traffic safety directional signs.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause.

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Bad Governance affects us all says Morales

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Loekie Morales, candidate # 15 of the National Alliance (NA) is like many people in Sint Maarten concerned about the instability of Government and its negative effects on our economy and on social welfare, Morales said in a statement.

She says: ‘A huge task is resting on the shoulders of the incoming politicians to apply the Good Governance principles, starting with combating corruption, where it seemingly is nurtured in our system.  In some cases, corruption is integrated in our culture, because it is accepted as something normal.

“An example is the placements of favorite persons in positions, without an (honest or transparent) application and placement procedure, whereby qualified unfavored persons are being neglected. Over the years we have seen this drama and its negative effects on the administration repeatedly. The people set in positions are ‘thankful’ to their ‘providers’ and will vote again and again for them.

“Not having the right people with the necessary capacities in place, will result in an ineffective usage of your human resources and therefore to a not proper, ineffective functioning of our administration system. Corruption leads to poor institutions and at the end a situation of none-development of a country. A waste of time, good energy and of our national resources. This vicious circle will continue. Who is fooling who in this game?

“Bad governance and ship jumping are causing an unstable government. Our economy, political system, our social security and justice system will be negatively affected. At the end it has a huge negative impact on the development of our country.

“To remedy our ‘bad governance’ situation, we need to firstly know what the good governance principles are and next applying them. We don’t need to have a Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other kind of religious believe system to apply the key principles of Good Governance.  Through the Netherlands, Sint Maarten has adopted the by United Nation’s commission of Human rights adopted Good Governance principles like: Transparency, Responsibility, Accountability, Participation, Responsiveness and Integrity.

“It will take the new leaders to abide on the Good Governance principles and to establish them based on the rule of law.

“Government alone will not succeed in combating corruption and applying the Good Governance principles. There must be an active participation of civil society organizations, the private sector and institutions. The people can also voice their grievances and highlight the priorities of actions for combatting corruption. They can stop ship jumping by not voting for those who have jumped ship and caused the government to become unstable or even to fall.

“The private sector, business leaders, should take initiatives to set up business enterprises which apply ethics and those core Good Governance principles. The workers, middle and senior management should get Good Governance and ethics courses in their business education.

“Good Governance institutions (for example the Ombudsman, Council of Advice, Electoral Council) have as task to set example in applying the Good Governance principles by using monitoring and evaluation tools, which are needed to guarantee the effectiveness of their policies.
The role and power of the media in our society is fundamental for establishing Good Governance by informing the people in an unbiased manner about their democratic rights and bring corruption into light.

“Everybody should be concern about the political instability in our country, which is causing so many downfalls for Sint Maarten. The ‘me and my belly and pockets mentality’ needs to change for the ‘I care for my community and country mentality’. It takes character and the right personality and mentality of our leaders, but also the citizen of our country to combat Bad Governance.

“Every one of us, every stakeholder (civil servants, private sector, NGO’s, civil society, the media, academia etc.) have a role to play to ensure that Good Governance prevails”, Morales stated.

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Missing 12-Year old Nathan York found in old abandoned bus

SINT MAARTEN (MIDDLE REGION) - The missing 12 year old boy Nathan York who has been missing since Tuesday February 6th has been found. He was found early this morning by his mother in an old abandoned bus close to the home of his father in Middle Region.

He was asleep at the time and had on the same school uniform he was last seen wearing. The young boy seemed to be dehydrated and was not answering to questions. It was immediately decided to take him to the hospital to get medical attention.

On the way to the hospital his parents met up with paramedics who immediately started treatment on the young boy. At the hospital Nathan was checked out by a doctor and he was admitted for observation and further treatment.

The area where Nathan was located had been searched several times; however Nathan was not at that location at those times. Due to the fact that it is still unclear what had happened with Nathan the location was temporarily closed off by police for further investigation.

Detectives are presently questioning witnesses to gather as much information as possible to get a better picture of what took place. Nathan in the meantime is doing well, resting in the hospital and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The Police Department is commending the CPO’s (Community Police Officers) and other officers for the effort and time they have put into this case.

The department is also thanking the entire community of Sint Maarten who has done the tremendous job in the search and in the communication through Social Media and in other forms of communication, to help locate Nathan York.

Due to the sensitivity of the case and the best interest of Nathan York no more details concerning this case will be given at this time.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone who has information concerning this case should contact the Police Department by calling 54-22222 ext. 214/215. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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GPs on Bonaire sign LOI with Healthcare Insurance Office Caribbean Netherlands

BONAIRE - The general practitioners of Bonaire signed on January 27th a so-called Letter of Intent (LOI) together with the Healthcare Insurance Office Caribbean Netherlands (ZVK). By means of this Letter of Intent, agreements on the future of general practitioner care on Bonaire are guaranteed.

For example, the parties have agreed that work will be carried out on a long-term agreement. To this end, various building blocks have been identified which will further increase the quality of care. Reducing of the workload for general practitioners, location policy and drawing up performance indicators have also been discussed .

The Healthcare Insurance Office is pleased with this important step and looks forward with confidence to its collaboration with Bonaire's general practitioners. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Benjamin & Parker Corporation Reveals Problem of Tax Refund in Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The research team of Benjamin & Parker Corporation conducted a deep scan in the Tax law refund regulations in Sint Maarten and eradicated the reasons behind the tax refund payment problematic, Master Tax Consulting (MTC) said in a press statement on Thursday.

“The Federal Tax Legislation states that if the taxpayer paid too many taxes, he is entitled to a refund, however the same law does not mention the term of refund, interest accrued on the refund, conditions to secure the refund or the conditions that impede refund.

“After establishing the shortcomings in the refund procedures and the extension of the problem our firms agreed upon there is sufficient legal indicators to belief that tax refunds expire in 5 years. The question that arises is why this matter is not addressed in the tax legislation. As responsible Risk and Tax Specialist firms we would like to explain translated definition of Article 12 sub 2 of the Federal Tax Legislation.

Article 12 Extend of assessment and tax credit

  • 2. An identified incorrect tax bill to the taxpayer can be reduced within five years after the onset of the tax. By National decree containing general measures the Inspector can establish that an official conditional reduction may be granted up to ten years after the onset of the tax if the reduction exceeds a certain amount stated in that country ‘s decree. If the Inspector determines, within the time limits specified in this Article, that the tax assessment is incorrect, it will subject to conditional tax credit by the Inspector.

“From the mentioned article it is clear that only if there is a National decree the refund can take place up to 10 years after the onset of the taxes. The practical assumption dictates that the taxpayers should redirect their attention to the Civil Code in which the legal term for refund or collections of general debts and obligations expire in 5 years.

“The other question that comes forward is why is the taxpayers’ community is not aware of this extraordinary condition to take the necessary actions to retrieve their entitled funds. Why are the tax ordinances related to refund are poorly outlined and were  left untouched by Governments since the introduction of the Federal Tax Legislation in 2001.

“Benjamin & Parker is also concerned about article 32A of the Federal Tax Legislation and its applicability.

Article 32a Tax Court fees refund

1) Costs made by the taxpayer in connection with the handling of the Protest/Appeal complaint, will only be reimbursed at the expense of Government funds, at the request of the taxpayer, for so far the ruling by the Inspector, was based upon questionable carelessness and in conflict with constitutional rights.

2) The petition is made before the Inspector decides on the objection. The inspector decides on the request in his response on the protest.

3) By Ministerial Decree detailed provisions can be made with respect to the charges on the allowance solely referred to in the first paragraph and the manner in which the amount of the fee is determined.

“It has become a common practice that taxpayers must manage fiscal redundancies in which time is wasted and accounting costs are doubled on the same tax case due to consistent wrong collection attempts by the Tax office.

“The firms continue to indicate that solution is necessary to mitigate these conditions and are willing to help Governments to improve the current system by the introduction of Block chain science. In addition the tax specialists firm indicated that they can assist any taxpayer in their tax refund collections.

“Tomorrow February 9, 2018 at Cay Hill, Welgelegen Road 33, Benjamin & Parker and strategic allied Masters Tax Consulting will be hosting a Tax event in which everyone has the opportunity to get solutions to their problems. Cost coverage $20,= for personal taxes and $30,= for business taxes. Funds will be destined to Simply Masters Foundation, organization that sponsors children school items.”

PHOTO CUTLINE: Terence Jandroep CRA, seminar facilitator. (Photo contributed)

mtc man dir

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