Latino autopsy leads to accidental drowning say the Gendarmerie

August 4, 2017
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MARIGOT–The Gendarmerie said Thursday the Latino man whose body was found floating in the water near the whale observatory on Coralita Road near Oyster Pond most likely died from drowning. The autopsy was carried out on Wednesday, August 2, and showed water in the lungs of the deceased.

“There was no evidence on the body of any injury or trauma consistent with a struggle or assault with a weapon,” Capitaine Régis Turlan Arto disclosed. “We haven’t ruled out homicide yet, but the preliminary indications suggest death by drowning.”Walkers in the area spotted the body, semi-submerged with head facing down, around 50 metres from the shore line at 12:25 pm on July 26, and immediately called the Gendarmes. According to the press release issued, the body was of a “Latino” man recently deceased, aged around 35 years old, 1:80 metres in height.

He was wearing Bermuda shorts, a T-shirt and a distinctive belt buckle. No shoes, identity documents, cell phone or car keys were found on or near the body. However, one red-and-white basketball shoe was found on the bank, but it was not known if this belonged to the body.

Anyone who thinks the description of the man who was found corresponds to a missing person is asked to call the number 17; persons with any useful information to assist the investigation can call the same number.



Man found shot Dead in Hope Estate

January 26, 2017
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Photo By Daily Herald

PHILIPSBURG–Franky Brunache was shot in cold blood, execution-style, by unknown assailant(s) in front of his home in Hope Estate late Tuesday evening. Police arrived on the scene after 11:00pm and found the young man on the floor of a black SUV near the driver’s side.

Police Chief Carl John and a Prosecutor were on scene late Tuesday as investigators were speaking to any possible witnesses trying to piece together what had taken place. Forensic officers also bagged and tagged any possible evidence found at the man’s home.

As the investigation continues, it is still too early to speculate on the reason for the shooting. However, police suspect that the bullets that made multiple holes found on the vehicle caused the victim’s immediate death.

Police spokesman Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson is calling on any person in the community who might have information about the murder to call 911.


1200 Kilo cocaine theft case – Arrests made in Police Narcotics investigation

January 14, 2015
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Cocaine- bust

Santo Domingo.- After marathon interrogations the Justice Ministry on Monday night arrested the Santo Domingo Province assistant DA Ramon Veras, a National Police colonel and other officers who alleged stole 1,200 kilos of cocaine seized in Santo Domingo Este.

FILE. The Justice Ministry will announce Tuesday  the preliminary findings of the investigation into the theft and sale of more than 1,200 kilos of cocaine seized during raids in Santo Domingo Este, linked to officers of the Police Narcotics Div. (Dican) and two Assistant DAs in that jurisdiction.

Investigators Monday night continued to interrogate civilians and officers suspected of having strong links with the case that has jeopardized the antinarcotics agency’s pursuit of street pushers.

Justice minister Francisco Dominguez, quoted by Listin Diario said decisions will be made today on the arrest and arraignment of most of those involved in the drug theft.

He said the investigation advances but revealed that there’re still some people to interrogate to complete the increasingly widening case, with charges filed today.

The people notified by investigators have already been interrogated except for one, who’s expected to appear before the authorities. – DOMINICAN TODAY


Woman’s body found floating in Lama Canal

January 1, 2015
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GUYANA - murder-1

Angry brother hold husband for answers – Photo Kaeuteur News

GUYANA – The lifeless body of a 35-year-old woman was pulled from the Lama Canal in an area called the “Blacka” at the entrance of ‘B’ Field Sophia around 08:00 hrs yesterday, two days after she went missing.
The dead woman has been identified as Natasha Jacobs called “Tasha,” a mother of four, of North Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
Police sources confirmed that the body bore several marks of violence.
According to reports, the body was discovered by a child, partially submerged amidst a patch of weeds in the “Blacka,” where the residents would normally swim.
At the scene yesterday, residents had assumed that it was the body of the mother of four since she would normally traverse that area.
This was confirmed when one of Jacobs’ brothers went into the black water and turned over the remains. It was then when investigators realized that they were dealing with a clear case of murder and not a drowning.
Jacobs’s face was partially disfigured and her neck appeared to have been broken.
There were several black and blue marks on her skin.
Upon seeing the injuries, the dead woman’s three brothers rushed to her partner’s home and launched an assault on the man who appeared to be in his early 40s.
For more than a year Jacobs’ partner lived a short distance from where her body was discovered.
He was heard crying for help but the residents too joined in and beat him.
They circled him and the punches he received were countless. They even threw bricks in his face.
“No I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything. Please leave me, please,” the man pleaded.
Police officers were forced to fire a shot to scare the crowd away.
He was eventually taken away in handcuffs.
Natasha Jacobs’ mother, Pamela, told this newspaper that she last saw her daughter alive Saturday night when she left her home.

“Me and she left Festival city and I tell her leh we go to Lamaha Gardens by me but she refused. She said she going by she man and I begged her to come with me but she didn’t. That was the last time I see her,” the mother said.
She explained that her daughter complained to her numerous times of being beaten by the suspect.
“She said that he threatened to kill her. She does come and say that he beat her and all over her skin does have black and blue marks,” the older Jacobs said.
The mother admitted that her daughter was suffering from mental illness.
“When she gave birth to her first child (11 years ago) she started suffering from this sickness. She does be in and out of her senses,” the mother said.
She added that she lost one of her sons, Joshua Jacobs, last year in a freak accident.
The woman said that she now has nine surviving children.
Neighbours of Natasha Jacobs’ partner said that the only bad thing the suspect did was consume alcohol on a daily basis.
“He did not kill her. Her brothers were wrong to that man. When all of them leave her to sleep on the roads, that man picked her up and take her to his home. He is small in size; it is impossible for him to kill that woman,” a neighbour said.
Investigations are ongoing. – Kaeuteur News


RBC Bank robbed

December 31, 2014
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RBC bank on Cannegieter Street. Photo Leo Brown

GREATBAY—Armed robbers made away with an undisclosed amount of cash on Tuesday after a daring day light robbery on the RBC bank on Cannegiter Street in Philipsburg, less than a two-minute walk from the Philipsburg police station. A police report states that there were two robbers at the bank.
The robbers reportedly entered the bank, upon which they jumped over the tellers’ counter brandishing their guns and demanding money, which they received. The bank is said by eye-witnesses to have been filled with patrons at the time of the incident but no one suffered any injuries during the robbery.
The two armed robbers made their getaway on scooters before the arrival of the police, taking with them their ill gotten bounty. Police reportedly gave chase and apprehended two other suspects on scooters in the vicinity of the robbery within minutes of the incident whom they mistakenly identified as the bank robbers before realizing their mistake. However, by that time the actual robbers had made a clean getaway and as at press time had not been apprehended nor had they been named.
Detectives on the scene are said to be currently conducting an investigation into the robbery. – Today


No arrested as yet, Police are investigating bomb hoax

December 9, 2014
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PHILIPSBURG–The police are in the process of investigating Saturday’s bomb hoax in which a phone call was received stating there was a bomb on a KLM flight that previously had been cancelled for technical reasons. No one has been arrested as yet.

Police spokesman Inspector Ricardo Henson confirmed that it was likely that the hoax call received by the police had been made by a disgruntled passenger of the cancelled KLM flight. “But we are keeping all our options open,” he said. “Our priority, now that we know everyone is safe, is to find out where the call was made from and by whom.”

The call was received by the police dispatch centre at 9:35am. “We immediately informed airport security. We reacted to the call according to our protocols. When it comes to public safety, we follow our procedures to the book,” said Henson. He could not go into details for security reasons.

Henson could not give the exact time police officers had arrived at the airport, as he had not yet received all reports. “But it was definitely a lot sooner than 12:00 [noon –Ed.], as some people allege. Aside from the officers on duty, we also called in a lot of officers who were off,” he said.

Henson explained that the first thought had been to push the plane away from the terminal. “This was not possible, though, as the batteries were dead,” he said. Specialised officers were then called to conduct a fingertip search of the plane. “These officers had to be called up from home, so it took a bit longer to get them on scene,” Henson explained.

The police regard the incident as very serious, even now that it has been established there never was a bomb on board.

“What started off as something against the KLM has turned into something with a negative impact on St. Maarten,” he said. “We don’t need this type of negative exposure for St. Maarten, especially if it is not true. This suspect has done irreparable damage to the country, the airport and the people of St. Maarten.” He left no doubt that the police would leave no stone unturned when it came to finding out who was responsible. – The Daily Herald


House of mafia boss Corallo searched authorize on behalf of Italian authorities

November 29, 2014
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Francesco Corallo-st maarten atlantis casino-ilandvibez

PHILIPSBURG–The National Detectives (Landsrecherche) carried out house searches on premises linked to Fransesco Corallo (54) on Friday, November 28, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor’s Office Tineke Kamps confirmed in a press release.

The searches were conducted following a legal request for assistance by the Italian Public Prosecutor’s Service on behalf of the district-directorate anti-mafia in an investigation by the Guardia di Finanze in Rome.

Corallo has been under investigation in Italy as a suspect in a fraud case, involving the Banco Popolare di Milano (BPM). The director of BPM, Massimo Ponzellini, was put under house arrest on May 29, 2012, under the suspicion of providing a loan of approximately 150 million euros to Corallo’s company Atlantis/BPlus for the purchase of new slot machines in exchange for an alleged bribe of more than one million euros.

The first search was completed in a house belonging to Corallo in Porto Cupecoy, whilst the second raid took place in the company building of Atlantis Casino in Maho. The casino hosts a couple of companies owned by Corallo, together with 48-year-old Rudolf Baetsen, the director of Atlantis Casino.

The searches were led by a Judge of Instruction.

Corallo voluntarily turned himself in to the Italian authorities on August 4, 2013, to answer questions posed by Prosecutor Roberto Pellicano in Milan in connection with alleged irregularities at BPM and Corallo’s involvement in those. The current whereabouts of Corallo, who holds a Dominican passport, are unknown.

Kamps stated that no one had been arrested in connection with the searches, but that the Prosecutor’s Office in St. Maarten could not disclose the content and background of the searches, as they were the result of an international request for assistance.

Norman Serphos of the Prosecutor’s Service in Curacao has said that the Prosecutor’s Office has used the opportunity presented by the searches to have a look for any information relating to investigation “Babel,” the large-scale fraud investigation into former Curaçao Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte and his wife. The case revolves around corruption and the influencing of politics through (illegal) donations, and Schotte was said to have received funds from Corallo in the past.

However, Serphos said that Corallo is not a suspect in the Babel case.

Jeroen Veen, lawyer for Atlantis Casino, said that he was unaware of the searches and had no information about the current whereabouts of Corallo. He pointed out that Corallo had never been a suspect in a criminal investigation in St. Maarten.

Director of Atlantis Casino Rudolf Baetsen was said by his staff to be off-island and was therefore unavailable to comment. The Daily Herald


Drive by shooting sends 25 year old man to the hospital

September 15, 2014
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Investigators taking pics of bullets on the ground. – Photo The Daily Herald

CUL DE SAC–A 25-year-old man from French Quarter was brought into the hospital by friends on Sunday morning after having been shot in the chest, a source confirmed.

K.L.B. had been a passenger in a grey Kia Picanto, which had come from St. Peters and was approaching the roundabout near Le Grand Marché in Cul de Sac in the left lane, preparing to turn left towards Philipsburg.

Another vehicle pulled up next to the vehicle in the right-hand lane, and at least one shot was fired into the Kia, hitting L.B. in the upper left chest. The vehicle then sped off in the direction of Cole Bay.

L.B. is believed to have been in the car with two other men. The driver continued directly to the hospital, where L.B. was admitted in a critical condition. Detectives attended the hospital, along with forensic investigators who examined the Kia in which L.B. had been taken to the hospital.

A source at the hospital confirmed that L.B. had been brought in with a gunshot wound to the chest, and that he was initially in critical condition. However, he has since stabilised and is expected to survive the shooting.

It is unclear at this stage if the shooting is linked to any of the recent murders. The police were unable to comment, but are expecting to be able to give more information today, Monday. – Daily Herald


Two loaded firearms found in point blanche – convict from Vesuvius case injured in prison machete attack

September 12, 2014
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Vesuvius-suspects-today-stmaarten ilandvibez

POINTE BLANCHE–A fight at Pointe Blanche Prison left one inmate seriously injured yesterday after he was set upon with a machete. The injured man was taken to hospital, prison director Edward Rohan stated.

A firearm which had not been fired was seized. Police were called around 3:30pm. Order was restored and a complete check of the prison and all cells was completed. Uniformed officers, detectives and a police dog, with its handler, were on scene. A search of the prison revealed a second firearm.

A source has revealed that there had been a “hit-out” on a specific inmate, as another inmate wanted him dead. It is said that the man who wanted to kill the inmate was R.C., one of the convicts in the Vesuvius case.

He allegedly had approached that inmate whilst in possession of a firearm; however, he did not manage to shoot the other male, who then attacked C. with a machete. The man responsible for C.’s injuries apparently said that he acted in self-defence.

A police press release stated that the police had received an urgent call from the prison requesting assistance in connection with a very serious altercation among inmates whereby one inmate was seriously wounded by another with a makeshift machete. According to the report a gun was involved in this altercation, however, no shots were fired.

“On the scene investigating officers located the victim with initials C.R. who was bleeding profusely from numerous severe cuts to his head and a serious stab wound to his back. The victim was treated on the scene by paramedics and transported to St. Maarten Medical Center for further treatment.”

The police then assisted in a search of the prison and during a search of the cell blocks where the altercation took place two pistols were found by police dogs. Both pistols were loaded and ready for use.

Both firearms were confiscated, as was the makeshift machete. So far one suspect has been arrested for possession of an illegal fire-arm. More arrests are expected in connection with the assault as the investigation continues. The Herald


Child shot in Random French Quarter shooting – 1 victim dead

July 4, 2014
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Late on Thursday night a shooting was reported to have taken place in French Quarter in which three persons were injured.

The incident took place in the vicinity of the Shwarma Outlet where a fatal shooting had recently taken place. This time around our reports state that a little boy, who is approximately three (3) years old was shot multiple times. 

He is said to have survived the attack. A second person was also reported to have been shot Thursday night and was listed in a serious condition at the time of the shooting. The third shooting victim, possibly a female was rushed to the Louie Constance Fleming Hospital for treatment. 

On Friday morning we learnt that the man who was seriously injured taken to the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for treatment where he later died. Sources also stated that the shooting seemed to have been indiscriminately done stating that the shooter randomly fired his weapon in the yard where the victims were located. It is not clear if the victims returned gunfire at their attackers. There have been no word from the Gendarmes about this latest shooting incident as well as the condition of the child who was shot several times. 

The Dutch police is said to be conducting an investigation into circumstances that lead to the death of the victim who died at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) 
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