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Soualiga News II (2331)

Fight results in one person being seriously stabbed. Police seeks community assistance

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - Detectives of KPSM (Sint Maarten Police Force) are investigating a serious brawl which took place at the Pool Lounge located in Simpson Bay on early Saturday morning January 12thin which several men were involved, police said in a press statement on Sunday. 

During this brawl one person according to a report suffered several stab wounds. He was treated on the scene and then transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment and where he remains for observation.

Several videos of this brawl have been posted on Social Media and it is very clear to see the extreme violence that was used. No suspects in this case have been arrested as yet and the detective department is asking members of the community who have seen the video and recognize anyone involved in the brawl to get in contact with the police department by calling 54-22222 ext 213/214 or call the emergency number 911. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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SEVEN SEAS WATER DONATES TO NIPA. SPW Trainees Program to benefit

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) – The National Institute for Professional Advancement, NIPA, is the latest recipient of a generous donation made by Seven Seas Waters (St. Maarten).

The donation was recently made to the institution, following a request made by the school for much needed assistance.

Due to the passing of hurricane Irma in September 2017, many of the schools’ tools and resources were either damaged, stolen or destroyed, placing students in a position of disadvantage, said NIPA director Sergio Blomont.

As such, the school decided it was time to approach the local community for assistance, with an eye on acquiring new tools and resources deemed necessary in providing students with top notch skills training, he said.

These tools and resources will be particularly beneficial to the students currently enrolled in the Social Pedagogical Worker Program, which trains students to care for the elderly and the youth.

Seven Seas Water managing director Franklyn Richards recently visited the institute to present a cheque to the school and reiterated the company’s ongoing commitment to assist, whenever possible, to the academic and social development of St. Maarten’s youth.

He said that the company strives to give content to its role of good corporate citizen and expressed the hope that the Seven Seas Water donation would significantly help NIPA in realizing its objectives.

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KPSM Fraud Dept. investigates Online Scammers. Public alerted about Cyber Crimes

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Towards the end of 2018 and early 2019, the Sint Maarten Police Department (KPSM) has received a number of reports of on-line scamming, police said in a statement on Saturday. 

The main victims are those persons or businesses who have ordered goods online and transferred money through local banks to international banks. The moment the money is transferred and the scammers have received the money, the victims no longer receive any response from the scammers. The scammers have designed fictitious companies and fake websites to look "legitimate". 

In addition, the victims can be approached by scammers via fake e-mails. There have also been cases where the scammers approach the victims via Facebook. On Facebook the victims are referred to fake web-shops. 

These fake-mails are often times extremely convincing. Through a fake e-mail, internet criminals try to retrieve or access your personal details. Usually you have to click on a link. The e-mails look exactly like they really are from a legitimate company. 

KPSM is hereby informing the general public of this unfortunate situation and that they should be very vigilant and cautious when going on-line to make any type of electronic financial transfer or purchases, and or the sharing of personal information.

This situation is being monitored and investigated by the KPSM Fraud Department.

Anyone who has information in regard to this case should immediately get in contact with the Police Department by calling 54-22222 ext. 217 or the emergency number 911. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Results of the 0.92% bond per January 21, 2019-2049 of Curaçao

CURACAO - The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) has received subscriptions with respect to the 0.92% loan per January 21, 2019- 2049 of the Country of Curaçao for a total nominal amount of NAf. 69,100,000 at an issue price of 100.00%. 

The Government of Curaçao has accepted the subscriptions at a price of 100.00%, at a yield of 0.92%. The nominal amount of the loan is NAf. 69,100,000. 

Settlement is due on Monday, January 21, 2019 at the CBCS’s office in Curaçao. 

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Long-term plan for boosting childcare starts

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - During their visitto Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire, Dutch State Secretaries Van Ark and Knops signed a long-term plan for boosting childcare in the Caribbean Netherlands. 

The programme plan stems from collaboration between the three Public Entities and the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Social Affairs and Employment (SZW), Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK).

BES(t) 4 Kids, as the programme is called, consists of an overall approach for the Caribbean Netherlands and three island plans of action. The purpose of the cooperating parties is to realise qualitative childcare, preschool and afterschool care on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. 

The focus is on creating a safe and caring environment for children up to the age of 12 that is affordable for all parents.

The basis of the programme is a legal scheme, which includes a new form of funding and inspection. This scheme in development will be converted per island into a local regulation that takes the island specific conditions into account. 

Executive organisations (such as childcare, afterschool care and schools) will receive support from the Public Entity to be able to comply with the new requirements. It is intended that the Dutch Government funds these organisations directly as of 2022.

The signing of the programme plan and the introduction of the steering group means the programme is now officially launched. The social and executive partners are closely involved in the further elaboration and implementation of the plan. The desired result can only be achieved by joining forces together. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

Ondertekening Sint Eustatius. Staatssecretaris Van Ark regeringscommissaris Franco Staatssecretaris Knops

L to R: Dutch State Secretary Van Ark, Government Commissioner Franco and State Secretary Knops.

Ondertekening Bonaire. Staatssecretaris Van Ark Gedeputeerde Cecilia Staatssecretaris Knops

L to R: State Secretary Van Ark, Commissioner Cecilia, and State Secretary Knops.

 

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Sonesta Maho Beach Resort venue for FCCA PAMAC 2019 Cruise Executive Conference

SINT MAARTEN (PORT ST. MAARTEN) – Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa will be the venue of the 2019 Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council (PAMAC) meeting that will take place from June 12-15.  The 2018 PAMAC was held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication (TEATT), the Honourable Stuart Johnson said Thursday that he is “very proud of the St. Maarten resilience.” Hosting the PAMAC conference on the island solidifies the destination’s continued role as a leader in the tourism industry. Johnson said hosting the meeting in St. Maarten also provides additional tourism receipts to the island.

“Taxi Drivers, restauranteurs, vendors at the market place, entertainers and others will potentially benefit from having these platinum cruise members come to the island. The destination also benefits as they will leave with a positive impression of our recovery efforts and spread the word even further that we are ready for business,” said Johnson. 

The PAMAC conferences give FCCA Executives and destination leaders the opportunity to dialogue directly with each other. While traditional conventions are “fast-paced”, the Platinum events create an atmosphere for closer networking and give the Cruise executives the opportunity to explore the new offerings from the host destinations.

Minister Johnson said, “This unique opportunity to showcase SXM rebuilding progress along with the new tours/ shops /restaurants and attractions is one that has to be done to give the cruise executives the real-life Friendly Island experience as we continue to push our overall tourism product to regain and develop the cruise industry to maintain our completive edge.”

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa was selected as the official conference hotel due to the amenities and facilities that the property has to offer. 

PAMAC brings together Platinum Members of the FCCA who meet with high-ranking FCCA Member Line cruise executives and top Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) as part of a relationship and business building process.

The PAMAC 2019 Conference is expected to attract 150-200 delegates, all platinum members, and 10-15 cruise executives and top Chief Executive Officers.

PAMAC 2019 is an opportunity for all stakeholders to showcase the recovery efforts thus far since September 2017, and to give a taste of what cruise guests enjoy while making memorable experiences on the island. 

Port St. Maarten will be organising many meetings, tours and night events catering to the delegates who will be attending the conference.  At the same time, Port St. Maarten will also be celebrating 55-years Cruise in 2019.

Port St. Maarten will be working closely with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and other key industry stakeholders and partners to make the conference a success and a memorable experience for attendees.

The PAMAC event is one of many that the FCCA coordinates for its Platinum Members and Member Lines to stay at the forefront of information about both the industry and destinations while finding ways to maximise the benefits for all.

The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organisation composed of 19 Member Lines operating over 100 vessels in Floridian, the Caribbean and Latin American waters.

Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximise cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the number of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.

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WIB Staff contributes to Good Deed

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Windward Islands Bank (WIB) staff collectively made a financial contribution to support a family in need during the Holiday Season, WIB announced on Wednesday.  

The project was called “Good deed” where staff members contributed towards the purchasing of needed goods, WIBs PR department said in a press statement.  

“With assistance from Oranje School’s Parents Teachers Association President, a single mom who unfortunately lost her apartment and job due to Hurricane Irma, was chosen for the donation. 

“WIB staff collected over US $600 dollars which was used to buy food supplies, non-perishables and bathroom essentials. Also, two gift certificates were given – an $100.00 Sunny Foods gift certificate and an $80.00 Penny’s gift certificate. 

“This effort was part of WIB’s Employee Volunteer Program to help our valued citizens in our community.”

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CBCS announces a change in date for new bond issue on behalf of the Government of Curaçao

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - The date of the planned bond issue on behalf of the country of Curaçao on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, has changed due to procedural circumstances. The new date of issuance is Monday, January 21, 2019. The bond will have a semi-annual coupon as follows: 

·NAf 69,100,000 bond with duration of 30 years. Interest rate is based on the Dutch yield curve as of January 10, 2019. The Dutch yield as of January 8, 2019 was 0.904. 

On Thursday, January 10, 2019, the Dutch State Treasury Agency (DSTA) will be able to subscribe, and after that up to Friday, January 11, 2019, 10:00A.M., the general public will be able to subscribe to this bond issue at all commercial banks on Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Subscription will take place according to the tender system in which parties indicate for which amount and price they wish to participate in the loan, thereby revealing their desired yield. 

After the closing of the subscription, the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) will publish the price of issue. Parties that have subscribed for a higher price than the price of issue will receive full allocation. Parties that have subscribed at a price equal to the price of issue will receive the remaining amount of the issue. 

The subscription forms can be obtained free of charge at the commercial banks and can be downloaded from our website: https://www.centralbank.cw/government-loans

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COM supports airport financing via World Bank and European Investment Bank

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Over the past months, the Government of Sint Maarten has worked closely with the Netherlands, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank to secure the necessary funding for the full recovery and strengthening of Princess Juliana International Airport. 

The Government has initiated this process based on a request for financial assistance by the airport. 

The discussions with the Netherlands, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank have resulted in a financing proposal of a 100 million US dollars for the reconstruction of the terminal and related facilitates. 

Under this proposal, 50 million US dollars will be provided as a grant from the World Bank Trust Fund to the Government of Sint Maarten, which will be loaned to the airport under favorable conditions. An additional 50 million US dollars will be become available as a loan through the European Investment Bank. 

As reported in the media, the Netherlands as the donor of the World Bank Trust Fund, has made the approval of the airport financing by the Steering Committee conditional on the completion of an integrity check of the airport, a corporate governance risk assessment and on attracting international expertise to fill a temporary position in the supervisory board of the Holding Company and a position in the management of PJIAE. 

During the Council of Ministers meeting of January 8th, the proposal for financial assistance to the airport by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank under the conditions set by the Netherlands was discussed. 

In its discussion on this matter, the Council of Ministers took note of the requested update from the Holding Company on alternative financing options. In this update of December 28th, the Holding Company informed the Council of Ministers that the airport was not able at that time to provide any detailed information or a recommendation to the Council of Ministers on the preparation of an alternative option for the financing of the reconstruction of the airport terminal. 

Based on the information received from the Netherlands and the update of the Holding Company, the Council of Ministers has decided to express its support for airport financing through the World Bank and the European Investment Bank under the conditions set by the Government of the Netherlands. 

In approving these conditions, the Council of Ministers underlined that international expertise to fill positions in the holding and in the management of the airport should be attracted for a maximum period of two years. 

In conclusion, the approval of the Council of Ministers is an important step in securing the necessary funding and formalizing the 100 million US dollars for the reconstruction of the airport through the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, including a much-needed bridge loan to address the pressing liquidity situation of the airport.

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Dutch State Secretaries Knops and Van Ark conclude visit to Saba

SABA – Dutch State Secretary of Interior and Kingdom Relations (Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties), Raymond Knops  and State Secretary for Social Affairs and Labour (Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid), Tamara van Ark, have concluded their working visit to Saba with much optimism for a continued good working relationship with the Public Entity. 

Besides visits to various sites the Executive Council in several meetings with the visiting dignitaries addressed important topics such as poverty alleviation, the Saba Package and the cost of doing business.

During the visit the representatives of the Dutch Council of Ministers got to see how several ongoing developments, funded by various Ministries of the Central Government, are taking shape and hear from local representatives in the Executive Council of new developments in early and advanced stages of planning. These include the start of an own drinking water bottling company and plans for the further extension of the seaport facilities at Fort Bay Harbour. 

“Each time I visit Saba I am impressed by the ‘practical and can do-attitude’ of the island. This approach by Saba allows for good cooperation with the various ministries in their efforts to work with and for Saba. 

“The Saba Package, presented in December 2018 by the Executive Council, is being handled by the various departments and I await their feedback and input. The good news is that rental subsidy will be implemented during the course of the New Year”, said State Secretary Knops.

State Secretary Van Ark on her first official visit to Saba was given the opportunity to see firsthand how people live. “During the Meet and Greet I have had the opportunity to meet with professionals in the social domain. I see how committed they are and have listened closely to their concerns and request for even closer collaboration among the various social partners.” 

“My ministry will look very closely at what can be done comprehensively and together with the objective to effect sustainable results. I have implemented a package of measures as a first step in an effort to reduce poverty. I also would like to explore realizing the social economic dialogue as a part of the Saba Package. 

“Integrating the social dialogue will result in a smart approach allowing all departments to do their jobs better. An example of this is already proven in the BEST for Kids initiative that involves the cooperation between SZW, OCW, VWS, the Executive Council and various local stakeholders responsible with childcare”, said State Secretary Van Ark.

The State Secretaries continue their visit to St. Eustatius on Tuesday and Wednesday before flying to Bonaire and then returning to The Netherlands. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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