Soualiga Newsday Features

Soualiga Newsday Features (2106)

International students worried over study delays and visas

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch international education bureau Nuffic and Dutch universities are in talks with the immigration service and the relevant ministries to solve problems encountered by foreign students in the Netherlands and Dutch students abroad as a result of the corona crisis.

‘Students are worried about delays in their studies and visa requirements. Some want to go home but can’t because of travel restrictions. We are currently in talks with immigration services, the education ministry and the foreign affairs ministry to find solutions,’ a Nuffic spokesman said.

Universities and colleges have stopped all face to face meetings and lectures, and all work is being done online, bringing traditional university life to a standstill. Some 11% of the Dutch student body is from abroad.

Apart from students from within the EU, the Netherlands is particularly popular with Indian and Chinese students.

The 9,000 international students at the University of Amsterdam are also worried and many are wondering if they should go home. ‘We urge them not to take unnecessary risks,’ a university spokesman told the Parool.

The university recalled many of its own students and staff abroad as early as mid-January, although some are still stuck in countries, including New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Jamaica and Congo.

‘The mediation for their return has now been turned over to the foreign affairs ministry,’ the spokesman said.



French side has new COVID-19 case. Saba has 36 persons in self-quarantine

SAINT-MARTIN/SABA – The Prefecture of Saint-Barths and Saint-Martin revealed on Saturday, March 28 that the number of cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19 has grown by one to 14 confirmed cases.

covid 19 french side

On the island of Saba, there are zero COVID-19 cases; 36 in self-quarantine; two have been tested; one negative and one still pending test results. This was as of March 28.

New Saba Data Stats

Similarities and differences – COVID-19 and influenza

Geneva/Washington, (WHO/PAHO) - As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, comparisons have been drawn to influenza. Both cause respiratory disease, yet there are important differences between the two viruses and how they spread. This has important implications for public health measures that should be implemented to respond to each virus.

How are COVID-19 and influenza viruses similar?

Firstly, COVID-19 and influenza viruses are similar. They both cause respiratory disease, which can be asymptomatic or mild but can also cause severe disease and death. Secondly, both viruses are transmitted by contact or droplets. As a result, the same public health measures, such as hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette (coughing into your elbow or into a tissue and immediately disposing of the tissue), are important actions that everyone can take to prevent both infections.

How fast are COVID-19 and influenza viruses transmitted?

The speed of transmission is an important difference between the two viruses. Influenza has a shorter incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) and a shorter serial interval (the time between successive cases) than COVID-19 virus. The serial interval for COVID-19 virus is estimated to be 5-6 days, while for influenza virus, the serial interval is 3 days. This means that influenza can spread faster than COVID-19. 

Further, transmission in the first 3-5 days of illness, or potentially pre-symptomatic transmission –transmission of the virus before the appearance of symptoms – is a major driver of transmission for influenza. In contrast, while we are learning that there are people who can shed COVID-19 virus 24-48 hours prior to symptom onset, at present, this does not appear to be a major driver of transmission. 

The number of secondary infections generated from one infected individual – is understood to be between 2 and 2.5 for COVID-19 virus, higher than for influenza. However, estimates for both COVID-19 and influenza viruses are very context and time-specific, making direct comparisons more difficult.

How does COVID-19 and influenza affect children?

Children are important drivers of influenza virus transmission in the community. For COVID-19 virus, initial data indicates that children are less affected than adults and that clinical attack rates in the 0-19 age group are low. Further preliminary data from household transmission studies in China suggest that children are infected from adults, rather than vice versa.

What are the differences in symptoms between COVID-19 and influenza? 

While symptoms of the two viruses are similar, the percentage of people with severe disease appear to be different. For COVID-19, current data suggests that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe, requiring oxygen, and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation. These percentages of severe and critical infections are higher than with influenza.

Who is most at risk?

Those most at risk of severe influenza infection are children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions and who are immunosuppressed. For COVID-19, our current understanding is that age and underlying conditions increase the risk of severe infection.

Is the mortality rate higher for COVID-19 than for influenza?

Mortality for COVID-19 appears higher than for influenza, especially seasonal influenza. While the true mortality will take some time to fully understand, existing data suggest that the mortality ratio (the number of reported deaths divided by the number of reported cases) is between 3-4%. For seasonal influenza, mortality is usually well below 0.1%. However, mortality is largely determined by access to and quality of health care.

What medical interventions are available for COVID-19 and influenza?

While there are a number of clinical trials currently underway in China and more than 20 vaccines in development for COVID-19, there are currently no licensed vaccines or treatment for COVID-19. However, for influenza, there are a number of available antivirals and vaccines. While the influenza vaccine is not effective against COVID-19 virus, it is highly recommended to get vaccinated each year to prevent influenza.



SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Leader of the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) Gracita Arrindell in a press statement on Friday evening said: “March month COVID-19 madness is almost behind us. Ahead however, awaits many uncertainties as we continue to work in an effort to mitigate the negative effects on our economy and on our way of life, since this apparent ‘man made’ virus hit the world.

“It is only a matter of time before we will know the exact and undisputable facts that led to this pandemic costing both innocent lives and economies to crumble or paralyzed in worse cases”

Arrindell states: “Pay- rolls are due for most companies, excluding the public sector which includes government owned companies. A stimulus package is being worked on locally, according to news reports. This proposed package is aimed at the unemployed, those who lost or at risk of loosing their jobs. The objective is to alleviate the expected strain on our economy due to the Government mandated closures.

“A closer look within the Kingdom of the Netherlands tells us what steps Governments have taken for their respective constituents.

  1. An emergency relief package has already been debated and AGREED UPON in the Netherlands for Holland, Bonaire, Saba, Statia. Note Holland as well as other countries outside of the Kingdom choose the SZV system to administer the relief on companies pay-rolls.
  2. Curacao approved a ‘solidarity’ package for its citizens.

“Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister for Kingdom Relations Knops, recently publicly disclosed that the larger islands Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten will not be left out and be considered to receive a financial relief package. It is of essence that our Governments, Council of Ministers and Parliament approach Aruba and Curacao in order to submit post haste a joint or unified request for support unrelated to the Trust- fund relief Sint Maarten received post Hurricane Irma. The joint Stimulus package would be similar to what the BESS islands are about to receive from the Netherlands.”

“Gracita said: our local government presented a proposal which includes food vouchers. The proposals are yet to be debated and approved by Parliament. In the midst of this all, current interim Ministers are leaving office as NEWLY appointed members enter the public arena. We wish them much wisdom and fortitude to act expeditiously on the stimulus package for businesses. These are not easy times and all hands are needed on deck to overcome the challenges we face together.”

“Constructive criticism is healthy for everyone involved. It is important to note that the approach of our Government (Minister of Finance) should be intense on its relief purposes towards energizing (businesses) to be pro-active. Keeping most people EMPLOYED should be a collective (public and private sector) main objective. Those who are or have been un-employed prior to the COVID- 19 virus pandemic, would rightfully be eligible for the voucher program. Food vouchers do not fall under the category of STIMULUS. Food vouchers are part of our safety net, especially geared towards sustaining the most vulnerable among us, including, elderly, pensioners, homeless.

“Employers should not be (un-intentionally) motivated by Government to lay off staff. Hopefully, our Government will apply the meaning of the word ‘Stimulus’ literally when it decides on the final financial package of measures to be taken. This decision is not a minute too soon.

Gracita concludes: Sint Maarten is a small beautiful Island.We can manage our issues when they arrive. When we plan ahead and consult in a timely fashion our stakeholders, we can overcome our challenges. Once again, our social security structure (SZV) is in place to handle the disbursement of the financial Stimulus package on short notice. Time is of the essence.”


ABN Amro forecasts GDP will drop 3.5%, if normal life returns mid May

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Dutch economy will shrink by 3.5% this year because of the coronavirus outbreak and all sectors of the economy will be hit, according to new forecasts by ABN Amro economists.

The ABN Amro forecasts are based on a two-month lockdown until mid-May. If cafes and restaurants reopen from mid-May, the economy will buck up over the summer, although the impact of the closures will be felt for the rest of the year.

The leisure industries will be hardest hit by the downturn, with the hospitality, culture, tourism and sports sectors taking a 15% hit.

On Thursday, the government’s economic think-tank CPB said in a worst-case scenario the coronavirus crisis could plunge the Dutch economy into deep depression, with GDP declining by up to 7.7%.

The CPB has analysed four scenarios for the impact of coronavirus on the economy in 2020 and 2021, based on the duration of restrictions on physical contact and the severity of the economic impact.

All four scenarios result in recession, with GDP declining by between 1.2% and 7.7% in 2020, the CPB said. Under three of the four scenarios, the economic downturn will be more severe than in the 2008–2009 crisis, when GDP fell by 3.7%.



Business associations and WIFOL stand united in recommendations to government

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In a joint statement The Sint Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA), the Sint Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA), the Indian Merchants Association (IMA), the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) and the Labor Union WIFOL pledged their collective support the proposal for urgent Economic support as presented by the SHTA.

The Associations and the Labor Union urge government to approve robust measures to counter the economic fall out that surely will come from the worldwide COVID19 crisis; and its disruption to the travel industry and by logical extension all other industries on Sint Maarten along with other effects on the financial markets.

The associations and union applaud the initiative of government to project support over the upcoming 12 months but suggests implementing a short-term package urgently for the immediate six months. The associations and the union in solidarity stated, it is urgent to reduce uncertainty of loss of income and loss of jobs as soon as possible for Sint Maarten’s employees and their households.

Many other countries including our neighbors understand the long-lasting effects that this virus will have on the tourism/travel industry and thus their economies and have already implemented far reaching policies to alleviate the concern of its citizens. Some countries that have not yet announced measures, such as Anguilla, are already seeing mass layoffs of employees.   By the Union and employers working together, we hope to reduce the necessity of layoffs here on St. Maarten.

Collectively the employers’ associations represent over 70% of the employed Labor Force on Sint Maarten. SHTA, IMA, SMMTA and SMTA are the internationally recognized Employers’ representatives for Sint Maarten by the International Labor Organization (ILO), whereas the WIFOL Union represents approximately 3000 members, all employees working under a collective labor agreement.

Together the members of these associations contribute the most to the government coffers, via employee paid wage taxes, business paid turnover tax, room tax and profit tax.

The key elements the proposal presented to Government on March 19th are:

  1. A 90% Payroll Subsidy to all employers (including Government and NGOs) for the duration of 6 months. This will not only guarantee jobs in the private sector, but also in the public sector, as wage tax revenue will continue to make a large contribution to the funds needed to run the Government. Payroll expenses are by far the largest single business expense on Sint Maarten across all industries. Payroll liabilities, when these cannot be met, have the single biggest socioeconomic impact; people lose jobs and companies irreversibly close. All companies will be affected by the lack of tourism arrivals, unlike after the hurricane when construction took over as an economic driver.
  2. Reducing TOT to zero percent for the same amount of time. All associations request the TOT be set to 0% in order to stimulate local economic activity for longer on island circulation of funds and help reduce foreign reserve risk by spending more locally. 0% TOT will also have a deflationary effect on the cost of living as prices will go down by the tax percentage which is currently included in almost all prices; thus, stretching the assistance a longer way.   With businesses closed there will be a significantly reduced contribution to government anyway and so it is a good opportunity to restructure this tax to be less destructive to our supply chain and the multiplier effect on the cost of goods.

All stakeholders express concern about the social aspects of the economic downturn. Increased unemployment leads to decreased income, lack of household necessities and hence an incentive for an increase in crime.

From the Labor Force survey 2018 it can be concluded that the average monthly wage-bill for the country is 62.5 million guilders. At 90% that amounts to 340 Million guilders over a 6-month period or US$180 Million.

As most businesses are still seeking economic recovery after Irma there are little to no reserves in place to weather this storm. As the basis for calculations SHTA used the 2018 Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2018 Business Census and the 2019 World Bank Trust Fund Report (WBTF).

Other channels of help may well be required to meet different needs, these can be provided in addition too, not in lieu of this proposal. ​We believe this is a fair and equitable distribution method that should be relatively easy to implement across all business sectors not just employers in the hospitality business because the payroll information already exists in the tax filings. The employers’ associations further mandated the largest of the four, the SHTA to speak on their behalf for continued representation and information.

The associations continue to plead with all government officials involved in this decision process to please include the business community in your deliberations so that we can add value towards developing the solutions, not only in the short term but in the longer term as well. To support research by the Ministry of Finance, a private sector survey is launched at Companies are kindly requested to fill this in as to compile an assessment of the national economic loss. 


Zero Hour: Our Region in the Face of the Pandemic

SINT MAARTEN (COMMENTARY – By Alicia Bárcena Ibarra*) - It is true that history recounts the devastating impact of past pandemics, but none of them broke out in such a populated world (with more than 7.7 billion people) or such an interconnected one, and with a planet that is ailing environmentally.

This is the biggest human and health crisis we have ever faced. That assertion must serve as our guiding principle if we are to approach it effectively. It has, of course, profound economic implications, but the center of attention, the focus of public policy decisions, must be on safeguarding one of the most valuable global public goods in existence: people’s health and well-being.

With this in mind, it is fitting to mention that Latin America and the Caribbean will be impacted via five main external channels: the decline of economic activity in our principal trading partners, especially China; the fall in prices for our commodities; the interruption of global and regional value chains; the steep drop in demand for tourism services, which primarily affects the Caribbean; and an increase in risk aversion and the worsening of global financial conditions and capital outflows from the region, with the consequent devaluation of our currencies.

The onslaught of COVID-19 came at a bad time. Worldwide, 2019 marked the worst performance in the last decade (2.5% growth in GDP). In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, this performance was even more dramatic. To find worse growth levels than what the region recorded in the last seven years, one must look back as far as seven decades.

Just a few months ago, and after ending 2019 with poor regional growth of just 0.1%, ECLAC estimated that 2020 would witness a modest rebound and the growth rate would reach 1.3% of GDP. Today, a conservative estimate – based on data that is still in the process of stabilizing – tells us that Latin America and the Caribbean will record negative growth of -1.8% this year, with a probable downward bias.

The effects of this crisis on our main trading partners portend a decline in the value of our region’s exports that could reach a magnitude of -10.7%. This scenario entails a significant increase in unemployment along with heightened labor market informality.

The consequent effects of negative growth and higher unemployment translate into an increase in poverty and extreme poverty. If the base data is confirmed, in 2020 the number of poor people would rise from 186 million currently to 220 million, and the quantity of Latin American and Caribbean inhabitants who live in conditions of extreme poverty would rise from 67.5 million to 90.8 million.

This crisis finds us with fragmented health care systems and without universal coverage, where more than 47% of the population currently has no access to social security. A crisis that is particularly vicious for the 58 million people over 65 years of age in our region.

The challenge is enormous, and it demands that we renew our toolbox. Each country will have to creatively explore and expand the framework of its possible responses, recognizing that there are no known formulas, while also recognizing that there are some imperative steps to be taken.

In the current situation, it cannot be overlooked that massive fiscal stimulus is needed to bolster health services and protect income and jobs, among the numerous challenges at hand. The provision of essential goods (medication, food, energy) cannot be disrupted today, and universal access to testing for COVID-19 must be guaranteed along with medical care for all those who need it. Providing our health care systems with the necessary funds is an unavoidable imperative.

When we talk about massive fiscal stimulus, we are also talking about financing the social protection systems that care for the most vulnerable sectors. We are talking about rolling out non-contributory programs such as direct cash transfers, financing for unemployment insurance, and benefits for the underemployed and self-employed.

Likewise, central banks have to ensure liquidity so the production apparatus can guarantee its continued functioning. These efforts must translate into support for companies with zero-interest loans for paying wages. In addition, companies and households must be aided by the postponement of loan, mortgage and rent payments. Many interventions will be needed to ensure that the chain of payments is not interrupted. Development banks should play a significant role in this.

And, certainly, multilateral financing bodies will have to consider new policies on low-interest loans and offer relief and deferments on current debt servicing to create fiscal space.

It is also urgent that unilateral sanctions and blockades, imposed in the world and in our region, be lifted, because they hamper entire populations’ access to goods and services that are indispensable for fighting this sanitary challenge. Today, humanitarian considerations come before any political differences. Health cannot be held hostage to geopolitical quarrels.

This is a complex time, and it comes as our planet is ailing. It is experiencing one of its worst phases in environmental terms, with polluted oceans and rivers, devastated forests, eroded soil, mass extinction of species, and altered climatic cycles. This must be the time to reflect on the unsustainability of the extractivist and unequal development model.

This new health crisis has exposed the fragility of this globalization and of the development model on which it was based. The breaking of supply chains, the decline in global growth, and the performance of financial markets have exposed the global vulnerability of our economies. In light of the evidence of this crisis, the global community will have to face the fact that globalization did not work as promised and it must be reformed.

The decoupling between financial markets and the real economy’s flows must be contained and regulated. International trade is not an inevitable driver of long-term growth without policies for diversifying and transforming production. Inequalities, between countries and within them, aggravate the fragility of the global system and must be rolled back.

This pandemic has the potential to transform the geopolitics of globalization, but it is also an opportunity to survey the benefits of multilateral action and make room for needed debate on a new, sustainable and egalitarian development model. Because, “if necessary, we must invent new words and new ideas for these new realities that are challenging us.”

*Executive Secretary of ECLAC (United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean)

Everything seems to be one gigantic mistake. We console ourselves by saying that everything has happened as it should not have happened. But it is we who are mistaken, not history. We must learn to look reality in the face; if necessary, we must invent new words and new ideas for these new realities that are challenging us. Thinking is the first obligation of the intelligentsia, and in certain cases it is the only one.

Octavio Paz

The Labyrinth of Solitude


Prime Minister Jacobs calls on business community to keep a healthy distance at the workplace

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs has sent a letter to the business community as Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) encouraging the business community to observe and implement preventative measures such as employees and customers keeping a healthy distance between each other – social distancing – in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

“These measures will help develop a healthier working environment for employees and customers, and in the end will ultimately lead to the full recovery of both the public and private sectors”, Prime Minister Jacobs said on Sunday.

All establishments that are allowed to remain open must incorporate and execute safety guidelines during and after the COVID-19 threat. Prime Minister Jacobs further reiterates that the collective actions and commitment to this cause will help the country overcome this and thrive towards a stronger economy for Sint Maarten.

Measures to be taken within the work environment related to social distancing are:

  1. Sanitize Business after closing: businesses are encouraged to sanitize their establishment after closing hours and before opening to the public.
  2. Introduce Special Hours for Most Vulnerable Groups: businesses are encouraged to offer preferential opening hours (i.e. first hour when open) to vulnerable groups in our community such as the Elderly, pregnant women and/or persons with young children (under 5 years).
  3. Introduce safety spaces: avoid the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining a distance of three (3) feet/ one (1) meter from all employees and customers.
  4. Limit crowds: avoid having more than ten (10) employees or customers in your establishment or shared spaces at one time.
  5. Limit large gatherings: maximum twenty (20) persons are permitted in large spaces at one time.
  6. Adjust service areas and shared spaces: employers are encouraged to adjust floor plans, seating and configure large spaces to ensure social distancing.
  7. Minimize and/or Sanitize Common Areas surfaces: businesses are encouraged to minimize common areas touching (where possible) and/or sanitize common areas that are touched frequently.
  8. Avoid physical contact: avoid touching or physical contact with co-workers and customers.
  9. Encouraging signs: encourage employees and customers to follow safety practices with gentle reminders on social distancing using posters, and pictures of guidelines for safety and cleanliness.
  10. Create and oversee protocols: assure that safety and social procedures are in place or appoint an employee to develop protocols and ensure that these are followed.
  11. Clean elevators: elevators must remain clean at all times. Employees and customers should avoid using elevators when crowded. Consider taking the stairs when keeping a safe distance proves difficult.

With respect to home employment:

  1. Employers are encouraged to implement tools and procedures to encourage workers to work from home should the nature of the function allow for such. Employers are also encouraged to allow workers that are not feeling well to execute their tasks from home.
  2. Vulnerable Workers: employers are encouraged to allow employees with pre-existing conditions and vulnerable workers (i.e. elderly) to work from home where and if possible, in as much as possible.
  3. Self-quarantine: employees that are not feeling well should report illnesses via telephone or by using social media to their house doctors. Employees that are not well are restricted to self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days.
  4. Business travel: employees who have traveled within the last two weeks should self -quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days.

Regarding safety sanitary procedures for the work environment: 16.     Sanitation: all customers and employees must sanitize their hands before entering and exiting the establishment. Keep windows open as much as possible and ensure that all ventilators and air-conditioning systems are cleaned.

  1. Keep lavatories clean: all employees and customers must wash their hands before and after the use of restrooms. These must be kept clean at all times.
  2. Keep doors open: to avoid unnecessary contact with doorknobs and other surfaces. Frequently clean and wipe doorknobs after opening and closing doors.
  3. Wash uniforms or clothing: employees are encouraged to change or wash uniforms and work attire that were worn during working hours. Please do not re-use uniforms or work attire unless these are properly washed.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and updates or visit the Government website: or its Facebook Page:



SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – A signal of hope and light has been sent out in difficult times, that’s the main message the organizers of #LightTheSky Curaçao wanted to send out to the world. There is still so much good and positivity happening around, so there is always light on the horizon. 

The force of the solidarity initiative that the entertainment industry on the island showed in a very spontaneous outcry was done on Sunday March 22nd, 2020 from 19:00 till 21:30. It paralyzed all corners, and those in quarantine felt the positive vibes coming from the healing heart of Curaçao. 

The event was streamed LIVE on social media through the Facebook page of Light the Sky Curaçao and in cooperation with the local television channels. 

Special thank you goes to the organizing committee, that took a small initiative and it turned into a whole movement they couldn’t even thought. 

Gratitude to initiators Ian Sillé of Help’R, Jean-Clair Sint-Jago of Lifelight Studios, Vio Sambo of Vio Sambo Films and Raino Mauricia of Mauricia Pictures, and those who joined forces like Jazzley Geene; Jiwan Gonesh & Iziquiel Goncalves of Massive Productions; Gina van de Laar & Analisa Cordilia of LOOF Events; Cris Celestina of Creative Sound & Lightning; Harrison Cijntje of Contemporaneous Events; Balaguer Productions; Leo Sound & Lightning; Clockworks; Hitz Sound & Lightning; Anaiz Visser (Posh); L’Amiga; LEDS - Lights & Decoration Services; Aro Pro Sound & Lightning; D’Art Dance Group; J.A. Real Production; Zaidi Hasham; Renard Hurtado (Loud & Clear); DJ RO-1; DJ Ling; CWM; Walter Martijn (YES!); The Jingle Planet; ODD Network BV; Devon Tweed; TeleCuraçao; Televishon Direct 13; Nos Pais Television; Early Generators; Thakaidzwa Doran (TX Experience); Gwendell Mercelina, Jr. (G!NIUS Inc.); 

Personalities like 2020’s Tumba King Raey Lauffer, Roald Balentien, Gigi Clotida, Dibo Doran, Aisha Lucas, Giltaly Doran, Germone de Lima, Nahason Sanches, Archangela Garcia, Clifton Nicolina, Manuel Martis, Urly Christina, Djurig, all press and media, specially the Curaçao Government whom facilitated the innovative project to enlighten all the heroes fighting daily and those affected by the virus COVID-19 during these times. 

In moments like this we should always keep head up high, take care of each other, staying safe, fight together, keep hope alive, maintain the necessary precautions, all of this will serve for when we prevail and win for a better future.


Police is requesting public assistance to locate armed robber

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The police force of Sint Maarten is requesting the public’s assistance, in regards to the suspect who committed a violent broad daylight robbery on Sunday March 22nd 2020 at the parking lot of Market Garden Supermarket, police said in a statement on Monday.

The victim who was robbed of his scooter was shot during the altercation and later succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The suspect after committing this gruesome act then made off with the scooter in the direction of Simpson Bay.

The police is aware of a picture that is currently circulating on social media of the suspect in question. The police can confirm that the person on the picture that is currently in circulation is indeed a suspect of this robbery.

The detectives investigating this robbery/shooting case are requesting anyone who may have information about the suspect and who may have information concerning his whereabouts should please contact the Sint Maarten Police Force at +1 721- 542 22 22 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line at the number 9300.

You can also visit the police website at or leave a message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten.

A crime of this magnitude that has taken place in broad day light should not go unsolved. (KPSM)

police armed robber ins1 red slipper

police Stolen red scooter

This scooter was stolen on Sunday alledgedly by the man in the photo above. 

If you know his whereabouts, call the police.




Stranded Guyanese Urged to Contact Consulate

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Guyanese who have found themselves stranded in St. Maarten following the worldwide outbreak of the novel corona virus COVID-19, which led to the grounding of flights, are being asked to make urgent contact with the Guyana Consulate on the island.

The contact number for the Consulate is (721)527-0704 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Honorary Consul Mrs. Kim Lucas-Felix has been in contact with officials of the Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who are advising that the number of persons stranded is needed. Please note that all that is being done at this time is documenting stranded Guyanese. Persons stranded should establish contact with the Consulate to allow for the recording of their details in our database.

To date, fewer than 10 persons have contacted the Consulate indicating that they are stranded. Some persons reported that they were turned back from the Princess Juliana International Airport on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 because Caribbean Airlines has cancelled all flights. This coincided with the closure of the airports in Trinidad and Tobago, through which passengers heading to Guyana must in-transit, and Guyana in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Persons contacting the Consulate must note that this message is only for ticketed passengers needing to return home. In order to process the information, please WhatsApp or email a copy of the traveler’s passport biodata page and a picture of the itinerary. Once the number of persons has been ascertained, all will be notified of the decision of the Government of Guyana.

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