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Diesel Price to be adjusted on Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Saturday, August 29th, fuel pump prices will be adjusted for diesel. 

The current price of diesel is Naf.1.195 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.1.222 per liter.

The Government of Sint Maarten regulates the prices of petroleum products by imposing a maximum price at which wholesalers and retailers can sell these products in the country to motorists.

At the international level, the prices of crude oil have experienced adjustments and local prices follow the international trend, and therefore prices are adjusted to reflect this. 

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IB Conducts Results Review Increasing the St. Dominic High School IB Diploma Pass Rate to 93%

SINT MAARTEN (REWARD) - On August 17, 2020, IB released adjusted grades for the May 2020 examination session. This resulted in changes being made to the marks previously released at the beginning of July. With this review, nearly all students of the St Dominic High School International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme had total point increases from 1 to 5 points. With this increase, 14 of the 15 diploma candidates will now receive the internationally recognized IB Diploma.

The written examinations of May 2020 were cancelled due to the impact of the coronavirus. The IB Organization worked with assessment specialists and independent experts in the education field to design a method to award grades to candidates.

The method used the student coursework called internal assessments, teacher-predicted grades and the accuracy of teacher-predicted grades in relation to student coursework and final results. This year IB graded over 920,000 internal assessments (student coursework) instead of just moderating samples of that work. This meant that each student had the opportunity to have his or her work individually evaluated.

When the results were released to schools, grades were lower than expected and not in line with the students’ performance over the two years of the Diploma Programme.  Those concerns were communicated to the IB organization. In response, IB conducted an additional review which resulted in it recommending grades be adjusted.

With this second review, the school continues its trend of strong performances in the group 3 subject Business Management and group 4 subjects Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. Significant improvement was shown in the group 5 subjects Mathematics SL and Mathematical Studies SL. The average points achieved by students in both subjects surpassed the world-wide average grade.

Added to the list of noteworthy performances are Naomi Jankee and Srishti Rajani. Both achieved a grade 7 for Business Management HL and received the highest diploma points (35 out of a possible 45) awarded to the school’s candidates. The St. Dominic High School candidates who qualified for the diploma had an average score of 32 points.

Mr. and Mrs. Dharamraj whose second child successfully completed the programme and will receive the IB diploma stated: “[We] believe that the IB programme at St. Dominic High prepares our children well in the broadest possible way. It is not by any means an easy road, but when given the opportunity, discipline, hard work and dedication pays off.”

St Dominic High is one of 3,421 schools worldwide offering the Diploma Programme. The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous and academically challenging pre-university curriculum where students select and study six subjects from six groups – literature, foreign language, individuals and societies, experimental sciences, mathematics and the arts.

In order to qualify for the diploma, students must complete the following core requirements: a 4,000-word Extended Essay (EE), the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course which examines how knowledge is acquired and the various kinds of knowledge that exists, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) requiring students to engage in the arts, sports and the community.

The Diploma Programme was designed to not only address the academic needs of each student, but also to target the students’ social, emotional and physical well-being in order to give them the skills to be successful contributive citizens and members of our global community. For more information about the Diploma Programme, visit www.ibo.org.

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Police investigating several robberies that took place on Monday evening. Customer hit on the hit with the gun

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - The Sint Maarten Police Force was kept busy yesterday, August 24th, 2020 with an armed robbery of an individual in the Cay Hill area as well as an attempted robbery on a lottery booth on the L.B Scott Road. 

The robbery took place in the Cay Hill area at around 4:00 pm in the vicinity of Kooyman as the victim explained to the officers on the scene. According to the information received, two young men dressed in all black with hooded jackets, and brandishing a firearm robbed her of her cell phone. 

The robbers fled on foot in an unknown direction after taking the victims' belongings.   

At about 8:00 pm on that same evening, the police were called to an attempted armed robbery that took place on the on a lottery booth on the L.B Scott road.

According to the information gathered, two young men also dressed in black clothing entered the establishment armed with handguns and attempt to rob the cashier.

During the attempt, one of the suspects injured a customer by hitting him on his head with his weapon. The suspect did not manage to get any money from the cashier. The Special Unit Robbery is busy investigating these two cases. (KPSM)

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The Nature Foundation St. Maarten Launches its First Junior Ranger Program with Five Local Student Participants

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Nature Foundation St. Maarten selected five local students to participate in their first Junior Ranger  Year Program with support of the ‘Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds Caribisch gebied’, Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) and Ocean Explorers.

On Saturday, August 15th the Nature Foundation held its first meeting with the new Junior Ranger Participants for the 2020-2021 program, last year the Foundation already organized a Junior Ranger Exchange to Bonaire with the support of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.

The goal of the Junior Ranger Program is to educate and motivate St. Maarten’s youth to learn more about their natural environment and what they can do to help protect it. Thanks to the generous contributions of both the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Ocean Explorers Dive Center these members will also be able to earn their PADI Junior Open Water Diver Certification.

The course which consists of theory, skills, and open water diving will give members the chance to see St. Maarten’s coral reefs firsthand. Yacht Club Port de Plaisance funded the position of Educational Outreach Officer at the Nature Foundation, the AUC supported toward the Save St. Maarten Corals projects which will be a leading part in the Junior Ranger Program. 

“The Junior Rangers Program is an amazing opportunity for students to be introduced to several aspects of our local environment and the ecological threats the island is facing. The only way to make lasting change for St. Maarten is to educate the next generation to regard our natural resources with respect and instil a sense of responsibility to protect these resources,” says Nature Foundation Educational Outreach Officer Leslie Hickerson, “Including the Junior Open Water Diver Certification is an outstanding addition as it is a lifetime certification that these students will be able to apply either recreationally or in their future careers.” 

The selected 2020-2021 Nature Foundation Junior Rangers are Florianthe Boasman (K-12 International Academy), Stéfanie Frederiks (CIA), Seybian Ortega (LU), Jai Shahani (St. Dominic High), and Nubia Stomp (St. Dominic High).  Local students ages 12 to 14 applied to join the program over the summer by submitting essays about what we can do to help the island’s natural resources. In the student’s essays they highlighted local issues like the use of the landfill, plastic pollution, and lack of recycling. 

Applicant Stéfanie Frederiks said, “The environment of Sint Maarten (and actually the environment of the planet) is something we really must protect, as if it is a golden nugget. Because if you own a golden nugget, you will take very good care of it, you would not want it to become dirty and you would not want it to break. This is how we must treat this planet and our island. If we protect the environment, we are ensuring that we can breathe clean air. Also, it is important that our island remains clean and that it stays like that. A messy island is not a nice island. Not for the people living here but also not for the tourists.” 

The Rangers took to their first meeting to discuss the environmental threats they think have the most impact on St. Maarten and what residents and the Nature Foundation can do to combat them. Members will focus on these threats in monthly meetings and activities throughout the year. Each meeting will cover a different aspect of conservation or St. Maarten’s terrestrial and marine environment.

“I am very excited to learn about ways I can help protect the environment as a young child. I want to be able to make my ideas become real and be a role model,” said Junior Ranger Florianthe Boasman, “I hope to learn more about the animals on St. Maarten. I find a lot of joy in helping animals and learning about plants.” 

“I am so happy that I was chosen to become a Junior Ranger because I love nature and I would like to learn more about the natural environment of Sint Maarten, especially the underwater life. I was born and raised in Sint Maarten and I think it is very important for young persons like myself to learn more about the nature and the environment so that we can help with protecting the nature and the environment of our island. I would love to make new friends who also think the same as I do and who love nature,” said Junior Ranger Stéfanie Frederiks.

Those wishing to contribute to this program or volunteer their time can contact the Nature Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Public Prosecutor’s Office reaches settlement with money remitters. Conducting financial services without a license is punishable

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In order to avoid further prosecution, the Public Prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Curacao, Sint Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (Public Prosecutor’s Office) has offered two former money transaction offices on Sint Maarten, Popular Express and Money Express, a settlement proposal. Money transaction offices are also referred to as money remitters.

These companies conducted – independently of each other – financial services without the required license from the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS). Both companies have accepted the settlement proposal.

Further to a number of signals received by the Public Prosecutor’s Office from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Investigation and Cooperation Team (RST) together with the Anti-Corruption Team (TBO) of Public Prosecutor’s Office, conducted an investigation into the two money transfer services.

Through the criminal investigation it became clear that both money remitters provided financial services without the required authorization from CBCS. Moreover, on a number of occasions one of the money remitters did not report unusual transactions to the FIU, which is mandatory.

The financial services consisted of accepting cash money on Sint Maarten and, subsequently, making that money payable in cash, after deduction of commissions, to beneficiaries in the Dominican Republic.

During the searches carried out in December 2019, one of the money remitters, Money Express, had already stopped providing financial services. The other money transaction office, Popular Express, was still operational at the time of the search but ceased its business activities immediately after.

According to Article 2, section 1 of the National Ordinance on Supervision of Money Transfer Services, it is prohibited to operate a money transaction office without a license from CBCS.

Money transfer offices which operate without the relevant license are unfair competition for money remitters who do comply with legal obligations. In addition, these illegally operating transaction offices easily create money laundering vehicles for the proceeds of criminal activities. This is because the flow of money in the form of cash or cheque is difficult to follow and there is a high risk of non-compliance by unregulated money remitters with the legal obligation to carry out customer due diligence. This compromises the integrity of the financial system of Sint Maarten and Curaçao. It is therefore important that financial services are to a certain extent subject to government control. CBCS is the supervisory and licensing authority in respect ofsuch services.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office sees various grounds for an out-of-court settlement. First of all, both enterprises ceased their money remittance activities and fully cooperated with the criminal investigation.

Furthermore, in the opinion of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the standard for adequate enforcement in these two investigations should not be criminal prosecution but administrative intervention. For no clear reason such administrative intervention has not been effected throughout the past years. The circumstance that it could prevent both enterprises from obtaining the necessary permit in the event that they are convicted through criminal proceedings, as well played a role in the decision to engage in an out-of-court settlement.

As a result of this settlement, both enterprises will pay an amount of money to the country of Sint Maarten. Popular Express will pay an amount of NAf.75,000, Money Express will pay an amount of NAf.50,000. Both amounts are partly conditional. The respective amounts are based on a number of factors, such as the length of the period during which the illegal transfers were being carried out as well as the volume of financial services performed.

In addition, publication of this press release is part of the transaction.

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LATEST: Tropical Storm Laura: Tropical Storm Warning Discontinued. Continue to be vigilant

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 11.00am Saturday morning, the Tropical Storm Warning related to Laura was discontinued, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

Even though Tropical Storm Laura is moving away from Sint Maarten; it is still expected to cause moderate to heavy rainfall which may be accompanied by gusty winds and thunderstorms this afternoon. Sea conditions are expected to gradually subside as the day progresses.

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Egbert Doran would like to thank the public and the business community for making the necessary preparations related to the passing of Tropical Storm Laura.

The Deputy Prime Minister Doran urges the public and especially motorists to exercise caution when driving.

Hillside residents are advised to drive with caution and be on alert for possible rock and landslides.

The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten in its 11.00AM forecast says we can still expect:

RAINFALL: Rainfall totals up to 2 inches are still possible through this evening. There is still the potential for flooding/flash flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls along

hillsides, especially in areas that are already saturated.

SEAS: A small craft advisory is now in effect as seas will gradually subside consequently, small craft operators and sea bathers should exercise extreme caution.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

ARCHIVED - GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 5.30am Saturday morning, the disorganized Tropical Storm Laura was located 160 miles west of Sint Maarten according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

Tropical Storm Laura is moving away from Sint Maarten; however, it is still expected to cause moderate to heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, storm force wind gusts and rough seas throughout Saturday.

The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on residents and motorists to stay away from flood prone areas and to stay off the road during heavy rain events if you do not have to be out; hillside residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall due to possible rock and landslides. If you do need to venture out, you should be vigilant and exercise caution while driving.

The Government does not recommend that businesses stay closed today Saturday but should take the forecast into consideration before making a decision to open.

The next official update will be 12.30PM.

The John Larmonie Center, a designated storm shelter, is open for those emergency cases that require a shelter at this time due to the heavy rainfall. The shelter will close at 9.00AM.

Identified flood prone areas are:

L.B. Scot Road - from Emilio Wilson Park until Cake House.

Zagersgut - from Petro Plus Gas Station until Seventh Day Church.

Wegelegen Road Cayhill - from Wegelegen road Roundabout until One Tete Loke Roundabout.

Beacon Hill Road - from Sunset Bar & Grill until beginning of White Sands Road.

Rhine Road - from the intersection of University Drive until intersection of Rio Grande.

The potential hazards for the country according to MDS as of 5.30AM are:

RAINFALL: Laura could produce up to 2 inches of rainfall through the next 24 hours over the local area. Moderate to heavy showers accompanied by thunderstorms are still

possible through today. This rainfall could result in flooding/flash flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls along hillsides, especially in areas that are already saturated.

WIND: Storm force gusts are possible across the local area through today.

SEAS: Seas are expected to remain moderate to rough. Small craft operators and sea bathers should avoid open waters until the all clear is given.

The country remains under a Tropical Storm Warning.

The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten and ODM.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Egbert Doran issued the following statement on Friday afternoon in connection with Tropical Storm Laura.

“Good day to the people of St. Maarten, I hereby address you as Deputy Prime Minister in a special national briefing for today, Friday, August 21, 2020, as part of the process to keep the community of St. Maarten informed about the latest developments in regard to Tropical Storm Laura

“Tropical Depression #13 was upgraded earlier this morning to Tropical Storm Laura. Based on this and other developments, a Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for St. Maarten. This means that tropical storm conditions can be expected within the warning area within the next 36 hours. Laura is now moving towards the West at 18 miles per hour. Previously, it was moving on a north westerly track which would have had it passing over 50 miles from St. Maarten.

“Tropical storm force winds extend 150 miles outward from the center of the system. As of 11:00 AM this morning, Tropical Storm Laura was 210 miles east southeast of St. Maarten. Laura, based on the 11:00 AM available forecast and information, will now pass 35 miles to the south of St. Maarten late tonight. Due to these latest changes with this weather system, the following has been forecasted by our Meteorological Department as of 11.30AM:

RAINFALL: Laura could produce up to 4 inches of rainfall through Sunday over the local area. Shower activity associated with rain bands from Laura is already affecting St. Maarten. Moderate to heavy showers accompanied by thunderstorms are expected to continue and intensify as the day progresses with most intense showers expected this evening through Saturday morning. 

This rainfall will result in flooding or flash flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls along hillsides, especially in areas that are already saturated. Motorists should therefore refrain from venturing out after heavy rainfall until an assessment has been made by the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of VROMI and until clean-up crews have been able to remove any obstructions along the public roads.

WIND: Storm force winds of 45 mph with higher gusts are expected across the local area from this afternoon through Saturday morning. Storm force winds could result in the breaking of tree branches, signs and blowing down unsecured structures.

SEAS: Sea conditions will continue to deteriorate today peaking near 10 feet overnight. Residents living along the coast should take measures to secure outdoor furniture. A small craft warning is in effect for St. Maarten. Small craft operators and swimmers should stay out of the water until the all clear is given.

“Based on the aforementioned, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) met at midday to re-assess the situation and have taken the following decisions.

“Government services such as the Simpson Bay Public Service Center and other government departments outside the Government Administration Building with the exception of the emergency services, have been closed at 2:00 PM.

“It is recommended to the business community, to allow employees to leave to go home at 4:00 PM. Due to the anticipated rainfall and possibilities of flash floods, all motorists should be off the road by 6:00 PM / 7:00 PM. 

“An assessment will be made regarding the situation on Saturday and this will be communicated early via the various Government communication channels such as Radio and Facebook.

“The John Larmonie Center which is a designated storm shelter, has openned at 2:00 PM only for emergency cases. Persons who feel that their current home is compromised, can make use of the shelter. The person must bring along their own toiletries, food, water etc. and must strictly adhere to COVID-19 preventative measures while staying at the shelter. Those who make use of the shelter will be allowed to stay until the storm has passed and the shelter will be closed thereafter.

“I call on all residents to prepare for tropical storm conditions and to adhere to the aforementioned recommendations and advice.

“The relevant Government departments will continue to keep the general-public informed as additional information becomes available. Continue to monitor the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during, and after the passing of the storm, and visit Facebook.com/SXMGOV.

“For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

“May you and your family be safe during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura. God bless the people of St. Maarten.

“Thank you!”

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Update - The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has upgraded Tropical Depression #13 to Tropical Storm Laura.  Stay tune for additional updates.  The storm is now moving westward instead of West-northwest.  Maximum sustained winds are 45 miles per hour with higher gusts.

ARCHIVED - GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 5.00am Friday morning, Tropical Depression #13 is forecast to pass about 40 miles north of Sint Maarten late tonight and into Saturday.

Weather conditions are likely to start deteriorating from Friday afternoon, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on residents to pay closely to possible changing weather conditions for Friday afternoon and to continue to closely monitor the progress of the depression and prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions.

Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalize preparations to protect life and property.

Motorists are advised to stay off the road during heavy rain events if you do not have to be out; hillside residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall due to possible rock and landslides.

Motorists are advised to stay away from flood prone areas during heavy rainfall such as:

LB Scot Road - from Emilio Wilson Park until Cake House.

Zagersgut - from Petro Plus Gas Station until Seventh Day Church.

Wegelegen Road Cayhill - from Wegelegen road Roundabout until One Tete Loke Roundabout.

Beacon Hill Road - from Sunset Bar & Grill until beginning of White Sands Road.

Rhine Road - from the intersection of University Drive until intersection of Rio Grande.

The potential hazards for the country according to MDS are:

RAINFALL: The tropical depression could produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall from this evening through Saturday over the local area. This rainfall could result in flooding in

low-lying areas and rock falls. Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms.

WIND: Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical storm force gusts by this evening through Saturday.

SEAS: Moderate to rough seas can be expected by tonight with swells up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued later this morning. Small-craft operators and sea-goers

are advised to exercise extreme caution.

The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the watch area within 48-hours.

The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten and ODM.

ARCHIVED, THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2020 - GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 11.00am on Thursday morning, Sint Maarten is under a Tropical Storm Watch due to the formation of Tropical Depression #13 which as of 11.00am is located approximately 750 miles east-southeast of the country.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the watch area within 48-hours.

The forecast track has the center of the depression passing about 80 miles north of the country late Friday into Saturday, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

The MDS says that some gradual strengthening if forecast and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today.

The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on the community to continue to closely monitor the progress of the depression and to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions.

Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalize preparations to protect life and property.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be meeting Thursday afternoon to assess national preparations and to review the latest forecast and projections related to Tropical Depression #13.

The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.

The potential hazards for the country according to MDS are:

RAINFALL: The tropical depression could produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall through Sunday over the local area. This rainfall could result in flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls.

Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms. WIND: Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical storm force gusts by late Friday.

SEAS: Slightly rough seas can be expected by Saturday with swells up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued

The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten.

For those who would like to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike, you can visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

In addition, you can also download the ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.

ODM reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises – storm ready!

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

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Community advised to monitor the progress of a developing weather system east of the Lesser Antilles

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson is calling on the community to closely monitor the progress of an area of low pressure located approximately 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

According to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), the low-pressure system could form into a tropical depression within the next couple of days.

The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.

Weather forecasters state that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continues to set records with the earliest C, E, F, G, H, I, J, and K storms and has been described as extraordinary.

The earliest record “L” (12th named storm) formation was August 29th and that was Luis in 1995. Luis devastated Sint Maarten 25-years ago.

The record earliest “M” (13th storm formation) is September 2nd.

For those who would like to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike, you can visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

In addition, you can also download the ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.

ODM reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises – storm ready!

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

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Gregory Damoen reappointed as Cft member upon proposal of Curaçao

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - Gregory Damoen has been reappointed by the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom as of September 1st, 2020 as a member of the Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten, upon proposal of Curaçao. The reappointment is affected by Royal Decree and is valid for a period of three years. 

Damoen has been a member of the Cft as of September 1st, 2017. He is currently interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Development Bank of the Netherlands Antilles (Ontwikkelings Bank Nederlandse Antillen - OBNA).

Previously he was Deputy Director Risk & Compliance at the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and prior to that, amongst others, Director of Finance for the Central Government of the former Netherlands Antilles. Gregory Damoen has a master's degree in accountancy.

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Caribbean Banks Face Mask Challenge. Customers should be invited to de-mask briefly before entering the bank premises

SINT MAARTEN/ST. LUCIA - Caribbean territories have joined the rest of the world in implementing a number of protocols to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months. These include wearing of masks in public, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

But with the mass adoption of masks, business places, including banks and financial institutions, are faced with new challenges. Public health officials view masks as one of the best defenses against the growing novel coronavirus threat, but they can pose a totally different threat to security for businesses.

The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) Inc. has urged members and business interests throughout the region to be more vigilant, and to take on board the necessary measures to keep staff and customers safe, not only from the coronavirus, but from persons of ill intent. Businesses are encouraged to insist that customers wear masks. However, customers should be invited to de-mask briefly before entering the bank premises, for the purpose of identification.

This small step can go a long way.

Banks can add further layers of security by asking for basic information from customers upon entry to verify the identities of masked customers. Staff should be trained to look out for suspicious behaviour, and law enforcement should be contacted immediately whenever there is concern about suspicious individuals on bank premises. Limits can also be placed on the number of customers allowed to enter the premises at any given time.

"Our members simply cannot afford to take the health and safety of their employees for granted," explained Ms. Wendy Delmar, CEO of CAB. "But at the same time, we absolutely must do everything in our power to maintain security and uphold best practices. To that end, I implore banks to be more vigilant and to employ whatever measures may be required by their local health authorities to limit the spread of the virus, whilst doing what needs to be done to protect their assets."

Banks have been providing hand sanitiser dispensers to staff and customers, as well as installing social distancing signs and Plexiglas shields at teller stations. Online banking options and mobile phone apps have also been promoted more heavily in recent months, with some banks expanding the functionality of their online platforms to provide additional services for effecting payments and transfers.

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Two Armed Robbers targets Supermarket on the A.J.C Brouwers road

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Special Robbery Unit is currently investigating an armed robbery that took place at a supermarket on the A.J.C Brouwers road on Wednesday night, August 12th, 2020, around 09.40 pm, the police said in a report on Thursday.

On the scene the officers were informed that two male suspects, dressed in dark clothing, entered the establishment brandishing firearms, and demanded the daily earning.

After gathering an undisclosed amount of money, the suspects fled on foot in the direction of L.B Scott road.

The police force is asking the community of Sint Maarten and businesses to be vigilant during this period.

“We are urging the community to come forward with any information that they may have regarding this or any other crime committed. The detectives investigating this armed robbery case are asking anyone with information about this robbery to contact the Sint Maarten Police Force, at +1 721- 542 2222 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge).

“You can also visit the website at www.policesxm.sx to report crime anonymous via the tip contact form. Or you can leave a Private Message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten -Korps Politie Sint Maarten) if you know or suspect,” the Thursday police statement said. (KPSM)

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