Soualiga News

Soualiga News (2412)

Second Man found shot to death in his vehicle within 24-hours

MARIGOT HILL - On Monday August 6th, 2018 at approximately 06.40 a.m. the Emergency Dispatch received the first a call of man who was found shot to death in his vehicle on the premises of a home on Marigot Hill road in Sint Peters.

Immediately several police patrols, detectives, crime scene investigators and paramedics were directed to the address in question to investigate what had taken place.

On the scene the investigating officers located a grey colored Hyundai SUV with license plate P-1554 in which they found the body of a man who was later identified with initials J.C.

The investigators also noticed that the victim was not showing any signs of life and apparently was shot while in his vehicle.

The area was immediately cordoned off by the police to preserve any evidence of the scene and for the detectives to interview potential witnesses. A medical doctor arrived on the scene and pronounced the death of the victim.

By orders of the Public Prosecutor the body of the victim and the vehicle he was found in were both confiscated for further investigation.

More details of this investigation are not available at this time. As soon as more information becomes available the media will be informed.

This is the second shooting which took place within 24 hours. Both cases bare similarities, which may raise the suspicion in anyone’s mind that these cases are connected to each other, however there is no evidence thus far or any facts at this time to determine this. There is much more investigating to be done, police said on Monday.

The Detective Department, in the meanwhile, have stepped up on the amount of detectives investigating these cases and assigned them with the task to assist in solving these cases as soon as possible and to arrest those that are responsible for the shootings.

At the same time Police Department is reaching out to the community to also do their part by sharing any information they have in connection with these two cases by calling 556-7498, the anonymous tip line # 9300 or you can send a private message to our Facebook page. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Smith submits Report on UNESCO conference to Parliament and COM

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS) Wycliffe Smith submitted his report on the Cochabamba Regional Conference of ministers of education from Latin America and the Caribbean to Parliament and the Council of Ministers (COM) on Wednesday, 1 August 2018.

The trip, which was paid for and organized by UNESCO, was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from July 25-26, 2018. In keeping with recent budgets cuts, Minister Smith was happy to be able to attend these important high-level meetings without it being a financial burden to the country.

The meetings were convened to discuss the way forward concerning the UN 2030 Education agenda, which is a plan to promote the development and quality of education by the year 2030.

Smith also participated in some high-level technical meetings for the leadership of Departments of Education prior to the beginning of the conference.

From those discussions, Smith made a presentation at the ministerial conference concerning the challenges of education on Sint Maarten, being part of a small twin-island nation.

Smith highlighted two major challenges: the lack of human capacity and insufficient funds. He also established contact with colleague ministers of Aruba, Suriname and Antigua.

At the end of the Cochabamba Conference, all ministers signed an agreement which “establishes the adoption of the Regional Roadmap for the Implementation of SDG4-E2030 in Latin America and the Caribbean, an instrument that will support the countries’ efforts to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which refers to lifelong quality, inclusive, equitable education.” 

Minister Smith in his report indicated how the policies and goals of the Governing Program must be aligned with the Regional Roadmap for Sint Maarten to be on target with the internationally-agreed goals for education by 2030.

It is expected that there will be collaboration and strengthening of the relevant departments, divisions and ministries to ensure that lifelong learning will be afforded to all on Sint Maarten.


K1 Britannia Foundation plans on focusing on disaster relief

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – After almost 11 consistent months of disaster relief activities, K1 Britannia Foundation is rounding off their Irma-focused activities. Since the day of Hurricane Irma on September 6th, 2017, the foundation has been busy with immediate, mid and long-term relief.

Immediate Relief:
Forty-eight (48) hours prior to the passing of hurricane Irma, realizing her imminent threat but unsure of what to expect, K1 called upon its volunteers who had indicated interest in assisting in disaster situations to be prepared in case they were needed in the relief efforts. Within 3 hours of Irma’s passing, volunteers and the Coast Guard met as planned and quickly realized initiative had to be taken.     

After being made aware after the hurricane that there was no emergency food or water for shelters, places of refuge that had taken in vulnerable people, and care institutions, K1 managed to within 24 hours secure enough supplies with the security of the Koninklijke Marechaussee and Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard to sustain roughly 2,000+ people in the above-mentioned institutions as well as aid workers and law enforcement personnel. 

Bregje Boetekees, Operations Manager at White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation expressed gratitude to the foundation stating“I want to call out what a wonderful organization K1 is — filled with people who truly care for others. I know many of the helpers that came out from K1, they themselves had losses and had to endure a hard time after Irma, but nobody hesitated to put on their boots and put their shoulders under the load for something that was completely disorganized and in disarray and with the energy and the impact that they did. That is amazing and I know that there are thousands and thousands of people on St. Maarten who received help only because of K1 and for that we are very grateful”.

From that first day forward for the next 5 weeks, the foundation, as a consistent team of 20-40 volunteers worked tirelessly alongside the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, Dutch Marines, Dutch UNDAC, international relief organizations, and government, specifically ESF 7 – VSA to help the people of St. Maarten.

The foundation became known as the main reliable source of volunteers for relief initiatives and took on the responsibility of leading volunteer efforts in the areas of first response and rapid assessment of all places of refuge and care institutions on Dutch Sint Maarten; set up and management of shelters; mass distribution of relief goods; amongst other relief activities.

K1 alongside key partners like the Dutch Marines and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard held a total of 23 mass and mini distributions through which over 21,000 persons were assisted with food, water and supplies. Once the mass distributions were finished, over 400 food and water packages with the help of Prime Distributors were made to assist the elderly, soup kitchens and hard-hit neighborhoods.

Deputy Director of Key Partner, Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard Eugene Middelhof said “K1 is well organized and have proven their ability to ensure that the ones that are in need of assistance are taken care of. Their intentions are genuine and their results speak for themselves”.

Volunteers set up multiple shelters by cleaning and sanitizing them as well as managed 4 emergency shelters for 48 hours prior, during and post Hurricane Maria.

After hurricane Maria, K1 also sent a team of volunteers to Dominica. Some of the ways they assisted were in the set-up of tents to be used as temporary classrooms while schools were being repaired, assessment of shelters with the International Organization for Migration, trauma counseling, assisting with food distribution, etc.

Locally, K1’s volunteers were on call for ESF 7 during the weeks and months after hurricane Irma, assisting in responding to the myriad of needs and challenges that presented themselves during those challenging times.

K1 Britannia is dynamic, attentive to the needs of the people, very much out there in terms of consistency and making sure that persons are helped in whichever way possible. I’ve not seen such as a strong and continuous action of young people in a long time, they have not stopped for one single minute, it has been an ongoing effort.

“No matter how often they are called, they are always ready to work, and they have worked in my view even longer than I’ve worked, in terms of the amount of hours being put in right after the storm. I think the organization shows the resilience of this community, it is embedded in these people, and with this type of continuous efforts and determination, I think we will bounce back sooner than we anticipated” said Ms. Joy Arnell, Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) and ESF 7.

Over 20 local organizations and shelters who help vulnerable groups such as foster children, elderly, sick, mentally ill, at-risk youth, those made homeless through Irma, etc were adopted by K1 Britannia and they visited each of these places immediately after Irma to see what was needed as far as food and water, supplies, medical help, etc.

Each organization was consistently supplied with food, water, hygiene and baby supplies, etc. until they were able to get back on their feet — for some places this was from immediately after Irma until the end of January. This help enabled these organizations and institutions to stay functional throughout this difficult period where those they cared for needed their help more than ever.

The focus of the foundation has always been helping one of the most vulnerable groups of youth on the island, children under protective custody, foster children. Court of Guardianship director Mrs. Richelda Rodriguez – Emmanuel said “In the aftermath of Irma, K1 proved their dedication and reliability in caring for the youth of St. Maarten. Within the first 72 hours of the passing of the hurricane K1 conducted rapid assessments and first response to the group foster homes and acted to meet their needs.

“In the weeks that followed, they provided food, water, clothing, blankets, furniture, and other necessities to these institutions and to the SJIB for over 90 minors under protective custody measure”.

Lack of electricity and food supplies hampered many persons from providing hot meals for themselves in the weeks immediately after Irma. So with the help of a volunteer chef, 400 hot meals were distributed to needy neighborhoods, the elderly, afternoon school programs, foster homes, etc.

Mid Term Relief:
From December onwards, the focus was on procuring the material help these institutions needed, as most had suffered damages and needed new equipment, furniture, and other materials. The local community organizations and needy families received material help such as 100+ couches, 300+ chairs, 500+ pillows, 10s0+ comforters, office furniture etc.

Some six organizations catering to children received construction assistance, done by local youth along with international volunteer contractors. Helping these community organizations was a way to reach some of the most vulnerable in the community. International donations were also facilitated through the foundation to help some of the community organization rebuild.                                                                                          

Targeting the children on the island, over 25 primary, high and afternoon school programs received water, milk, food supplies, 35,000+ high energy biscuits, hygiene products, can liners, blankets etc. for the needy students and the school.

The St. Maarten Early Childhood Development Association (SECDA), responsible for 20+ daycares also received assistance such as hundreds of baby food packages, 700+ bottles of milk, 5500+ liters of water, food, blankets, hygiene products and more.

As a way to bring tourism back to the island and help reestablish the positive image of St. Maarten, the foundation has connected over 50 international volunteers since Irma who wanted to help with a local need and have been an invaluable help to K1’s relief and rebuilding programs. The plans are to turn this into a permanent international volunteer program.

Long Term Plans:
“Priya and her team truly seem to care and do the right thing under difficult circumstances with no time for own agendas. A property that Dutch Marines wish to relate to! If in the (unfortunate) event the island needs our help again, we look forward to closely working with the K1 Britannia Foundation again!” – Andries Broersma – Major, The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps (RNLMC).

K1 Britannia Foundation is soon to announce their long term plans in collaboration with key partners for ongoing disaster relief and preparedness both for St Maarten and the Caribbean region, as after Irma it has been decided that disaster relief will remain one of strong focuses of the foundation.

For more information about K1 Britannia Foundation and to see a day-by-day journal of the first 28 days after Irma, and weekly updates afterwards of Irma and Maria relief activities visit their website A documentary covering the foundation’s experiences post-Irma is soon to be released.

The foundation can be contacted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by sending a message to their Facebook

K1 volunteer with St. Joseph School Manager and students with High Energy Biscuits donated by World Food Program

K1 volunteer enjoying a sweet moment during a distribution

K1 volunteer embraces a local woman affected by the Hurricanes

K1 volunteer clearing debris at shelter


Investigation into human trafficking of Filipino women

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Unit of Trafficking /Human Smuggling of the Police in Sint Maarten is currently conducting a criminal investigation under the direction of the public prosecutor into possible trafficking in human beings, which has affected three Filipino women, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) disclosed on Friday.

“They worked at two different employers in the household and the question being investigated is whether there is exploitation.

“When this case was reported two weeks ago, the women indicated that they wanted to go back to the Philippines. The police in order of and consultation with the prosecutor mediated between the employers and the Filipino women.

“The women, which at the beginning agreed with what the employer had offered them, however later withdrawn from what was agreed upon and did not make use of the possibility offered to them to travel back.

“The Public Prosecutor and Police stand for the protection of the human rights. The criminal investigation has not yet been completed, reason why no more details of the investigation can be revealed at this present moment,” OM said on Friday.


MP Doran says unacceptable that Ministers keep postponing meetings

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - A continuation of Central Committee meeting of the Princess Julianna International Airport scheduled on Friday 3, August 2018, to discuss the reconstruction status, was postponed reportedly due to a ‘double booking’ made by Honorably Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication Mr. Stuart Johnson, National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament Egbert Doran said in a press statement on Thursday.

The statement continues: Minister Johnson previously made a confirmation (IS 793/17-18, July 26, 2018) to attend the requested Central Committee meeting via email to Parliament’s administration.

After Member of Parliament Egbert Jurendy Doran was informed about the postponement coming less than 24 hours prior to the continuation of the Central Committee meeting, he said, “This is unacceptable that for the ‘Umpteenth time’ meetings are being postponed due to “lack of availability” of the concerned Minister or Ministers.”

MP Doran further stated that the people deserve more from the government especially as far as it pertains to the reconstruction process and the affects it will have on the people.”

“This Central Committee meeting was a missed opportunity for the government to present to the people of St. Maarten the progress made in the reconstruction phase of the airport” stated the Member of Parliament.

He further believes it is of utmost importance to note that the Prime Minister and every other Minister in this country has a replacement in the event of their absence. This was also clearly stated by the Prime Minister directly after the swearing of the Council of Ministers when referring to the “vervangingsregeling” (Replacement Law) and outlined which Ministers replace each other in the event of absence, and therefore, postponing meetings or any other activity due to unavailability of a Minister is rather unacceptable, as an explanation should also follow as to why said Minister will not be replaced.

The Member of Parliament stated that lately the postponement of meetings in Parliament due to the unavailability of Ministers has increased and Parliament as well as the people of this country who are looking for certain services need to know the reason for this.

The Airport, which is our main port to the world, is also one of Sint Maarten’s main source of income which the people depend heavily upon.

MP Doran stated, “Having the PJIA up and running as soon as possible is one of the main projects Government must expedite, therefore postponing meetings where the people of this country are deprived of information and answers, is not exactly what is expected of our government, and we demand to see a betterment in this behavior rather sooner than later.”


Water shortage is nationwide but drinking water not yet affected

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Netherlands now has an official nationwide water shortage due to the ongoing drought and dropping river water levels, the infrastructure ministry said on Thursday.

‘This means there is not only a water shortage on higher ground, but in other places as well,’ the ministry said, following talks with water boards, weather forecasters and provincial governments.

A special crisis team is now assessing what measures need to be taken to cope. ‘Botulism, fish deaths and blue-green algae are increasing,’ the statement said. ‘The low water levels in the rivers mean ships cannot be properly loaded and industry is, in some cases, unable to get rid of water used for cooling.’

On a national basis, choices now need to be made about how to allocate water resources for shipping, agriculture, industry, inland fisheries, nature and recreation, the department said.

‘Drinking water supplies are not under threat but consumers are being asked not to waste it,’ the statement said. Dyke security is another issue. When they become too dry, the dykes can crack, leaving them permanently damaged.

New record

Experts now expect the water shortage to mount up to 308 millimetres, beating the shortage in 1976. Farmers have already been banned from using surface water for their crops in parts of Limburg, Brabant, Gelderland, Overijssel and Drenthe.

The farm ministry has already said farmers will not be compensated for damage to their crops because they could have taken out insurance.

The KNMI weather bureau said on Thursday there will be more rain in the coming days but far from enough to reverse the drought. (DutchNews)


47-Year old attempted to board flight with false travel document

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - During the afternoon hours of Friday July 27th, 2018, F.O.M.B. (47) originally from the Dominican Republic, attempted to board a flight at the Princess Juliana International Airport, police said in a statement on Thursday. 

“At the Immigration Check point F.O.M.B. handed a passport of the Dominican Republic to an Immigration Officer. During the inspection of the passport, the Immigration Officer noticed that the passport that was handed to her was false. 

“The Immigration Officer immediately alerted other officers of the Alpha Team, who also inspected the passport and confirmed that the passport was indeed false. 

“F.O.M.B. was arrested and his documents were confiscated for further investigation. F.O.M.B. was immediately transported to the main police station in Philipsburg where he remained in police custody for further investigation.” (Sint Maarten Police Force) 


Couple robbed at the beach

CUPECOY BEACH - The Special Unit Robbery is presently investigating an armed robbery which took place at Cupecoy Beach in the vicinity of Ocean Club on Sunday July 29th at approximately 2.00 p.m.

According to the report the victims identified with initials Z.J.A.S and V.T.A.M were at the beach when they were suddenly approached by three unknown men, one of which was carrying a gun.

The armed suspect threatened the victims with the gun while the other suspects robbed the victims of their backpacks containing their personal belongings. After the robbery the suspects fled the scene possibly on scooters. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Aruba, St. Eustatius Join Sint Maarten Nature Foundation in Conducting Shark Research Training

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - As part of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Save our Sharks Project marine conservation practitioners from St. Eustatius and Aruba joined with the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation in learning scientific research techniques related to shark conservation and research.

Representatives from the St. Eustatius National Parks Office and the Aruba Arikok National Park spent a week with the Nature Foundation learning shark research methods, including shark tagging techniques, DNA sampling, biological measurements and the handling of the species.

“We had an excellent week training together and learning from each other on the best ways to collect scientific data from various species of shark,” commented Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Manager and Save our Sharks Project leader Tadzio Bervoets.

“Aruba and St. Eustatius are in the process of setting up their own shark research and conservation programs, so we thought it would be great for Aruba and St. Eustatius to come here to learn from the things we are doing on St. Maarten.

“At the same time, we also learned from our colleagues and were able to add to our own data collection efforts here. Additionally, it is only through sound, properly gathered and strong information that we can continue to advocate for the protection of sharks locally and regionally,” continued Bervoets.

Both Aruba and St. Eustatius will be applying the techniques learned in St. Maarten in their own locations; “Caribbean Shark Conservation requires a regional effort, and this week was a step in the right direction,” commented Giancarlo Nunes, Research and Conservation Manager at the Arikok National Park in Aruba.

“The team from St. Eustatius is very grateful for the opportunity to participate in shark research training. It was a good week with great learning experiences and we are eager to get started in St. Eustatius putting this all-in practice,” commented Jessica Berkel, St. Eustatius Marine Park Manager. 

The DCNA Save Our Sharks Project, funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, has placed the focus on the conservation of sharks and rays in both the Caribbean and European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The project has used science, education and community outreach and lobbying to establish shark sanctuaries, initiate science programs, and educate the public on the importance of sharks in the wider Caribbean.

Initial data from satellite tags deployed on Saba and St. Maarten have shown that there is significant regional movement of the species in the wider Caribbean; “We need to have more research initiatives such as our project here and in Saba and the coming projects in St. Eustatius and Aruba so that we can get a better idea on the status of the species, their migratory patterns and their local distribution in the wider Caribbean.

“Sharks are critical to the health of the Caribbean Sea but are also one of the most threatened Large Marine Species on the planet,” concluded Bervoets.

nature ins1


Passport recall. Technical problem in production process of Dutch travel documents

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - The Minister of Internal Affairs in the Netherlands has issued a passport recall and/or check due to a possible glitch in one of the security features placed in the chip of some recently produced Dutch passports.

During the production of the passports, issued in the period of April 2018 to June 2018, the possibility exists that about eight (8) passports (for Sint Maarten) may have a security chip that is affected.

To date, the security feature does not affect the legitimacy of the passport, which is still valid and able to work at border points, immigration controls, and/or airports.

The travel documents are without doubt usable, even if there is a technical error in the security chip.

It is ONLY for passports that have been applied for and produced in the period of April 2018 to June 2018 where the serial number ends with a three (3). This can be seen on the top right hand of the front page.

Persons can first check their passports by checking the serial number in their passports, located on the first page of the passport (see image)

The Civil Registry had a total of 766 passports produced in the period of April to June 2018, ending with serial number three (3), the presumed number of passports with a production error totals: 8 passports.

If you have applied for a passport in the period of April 2018 to June 2018 and the serial number of this passport ends with a Three (3), you can check whether there is a production error as follow:

Download the free app ‘BZK-ID’ via Google Play Store:

ATTENTION!! Only passports whose serial number ends with a number 3 from the period April 2018 through June 2018 can and should be checked with this app.

Or you can visit our office:

Department of Civil Registry

Government Administration Building

Philipsburg, Soualiga Road #1

Pond Island, Great Bay, Sint Maarten.

If after verification it appears that the passport has a production error, we will make an appointment for the re-issuance of your passports at the Civil Registry department.

The passports that have a production error will be replaced free of charge.


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