st maarten


Schoolgirl hospitalized after taking ecstasy pills

August 26, 2017
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Photo By The Dailyherald

SOUTH REWARD–A 14-year-old student attending Milton Peters College was admitted to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) on Wednesday evening for experiencing the effects of taking more than one ecstasy pill. Police are tight-lipped about the incident, however, The Daily Herald understands that she got the pills from a fellow student at school on Wednesday.


Francesco extradited to Italy on Wednesday August 16, 2017

August 18, 2017
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Photo by The Daily Herald

AIRPORT BOULEVARD–Francesco Corallo was extradited to Italy on Wednesday afternoon. The 57-year-old casino owner left St. Maarten in custody of members of Interpol Italy on a flight by Air France to Paris, with a connecting flight to Rome. Corallo is suspected by Italian justice authorities of tax fraud, bribery, money-laundering and membership in a criminal organization. His extradition was requested by the Minister of Justice of Italy on December 30, 2016.

  The Joint Court of Justice ruled the request permissible on June 20. The Governor of St. Maarten signed the documents formalizing Corallo’s extradition to Italy on August 4.Corallo was arrested at the request of the Italian authorities in December 2016. Since then, he was held in detention at the Police Station in Philipsburg.



St Maarten Parliamentarians should get report card

August 18, 2017
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At the end of every school year, students are evaluated and promoted or not promoted based on their performance during the year. Conversely, at the end of a parliamentary year, Members of Parliament are not evaluated yet they continue in parliament without anyone questioning their achievements, their performance or their competency to function as a parliamentarian.

I have observed that in several countries around the world, political and interest groups are developing report cards for parliamentarians. The idea behind the report card is to provide the public, especially the voters, with information about the performance of a parliamentarian so that at the next election, voters can make an informed decision about who is best suited to represent them in parliament, based on their performance during the past years.

I sincerely hope that MP Ardwell Iron’s proposal to report on how Members of Parliament voted during a parliamentary year will be included in the 2016-2017 Parliamentary Report. If included, it will give the public additional information as to how our MPs are functioning.

SMCP is developing a parliamentarian report card that will comprise the following benchmarks: attendance, participation, representation, supervision, legislation and interaction. These six benchmarks are derived from the job description of a parliamentarian that, according to our constitution, consists of three main functions: representation (art. 44), legislation (art. 82, 85, 86) and supervision (art. 62, 63, 64). Since the people (voters) placed their trust in a parliamentarian by electing him/her to office, it goes without saying that they should know how their parliamentarian is functioning. Therefore, let us look at these benchmarks and explain briefly what each one entails.

Attendance at meetings is the most obvious and objective benchmark. It includes the attendance at the plenary sessions of parliament and at the meetings of the central committee. All MPs are required to attend these two meetings. In addition, we will also include the attendance at the permanent and ad hoc committees, which is a requirement for the members of these committees but is voluntary for the other parliamentarians.

It seems as if parliamentarians do not realize that the greater part of their work occurs in the small or standing committees. These committees are therefore the backbone of parliament. In a press conference given the first week of January 2017, President of Parliament, MP Sarah Wescot-Williams, told the press “the work of Parliament is being slowed down due to the lack of activity by the parliamentary committees”. In other words, she is saying that these committees are not functioning.

Parliamentary Committees do the groundwork for the Central Committee. They research and investigate issues and laws then make recommendations to the Central Committee, which in turn will eventually, approve these recommendations and send them to the plenary session of parliament. In addition, most of the oversight work by parliament ought to be done in the standing committees. There is where the chair and members review the policies and the decisions of a minister or the government as well as investigate reports, complaints and problems related to a ministry or the government. Further, there is where questions directed to a minister or the government ought to be formulated and the answers reviewed for depth, thoroughness and accuracy.

Sadly, previous Annual Parliamentary Reports and observations during the current parliamentary year show that the standing committees hardly ever meet. During 2016-2017, twelve standing committees were installed but as far as we know, only two of these committees actually held meetings, namely the Ad Hoc Integrity Committee and the Petitions Committee. The remaining committees have remained dormant throughout the parliamentary year.

We would also like to point out a serious flaw in the selection of the chairpersons of the various standing committees. Members of the coalition chair all twelve standing committees. No wonder that the supervisory function of parliament is seriously compromised. One does not expect a coalition member in parliament to readily scrutinize and criticize the policies, decisions and performance of his/her coalition partner in the government. For example, with all the problems surrounding the Ministry of Justice, the Chairman of the Committee of Justice, MP Frans Richardson, never felt the need to call a meeting of this Committee. Further, with all the problems associated with the dump, the Chairman of the Committee of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, MP drs. Rodolphe Samuel, never called a meeting. The same goes for all the other standing committees.

Under the topic of attendance I would like to mention here that it is unacceptable that mature, honorable Members of Parliament still have to be chided by the President of Parliament for being absent at meetings without due notice. With today’s plethora of technology – and mind you our MPs receive a smartphone at the beginning of their term of office – it is inexcusable that an MP still does not care to inform the President in a timely manner of his/her absence.

So, with regard to attendance, an MP’s report card will summarize his/her absence or presence, with or without notice at all meetings. But the attendance score related to the standing committees will weigh much heavier than the attendance at the other parliamentary meetings.

In the following article, we will elucidate the other five benchmarks of the MP Report Card!

Wycliffe Smith

Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party



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.



investigation search in connection with “Cucumber “

January 26, 2017
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Photo by sxmislandtime

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – In connection with the ongoing investigation into the interception at sea of more than 200 kilos of a drug-like substance perceived to be cocaine by the Dutch Royal Navy in collaboration with the Caribbean Coastguard on Saturday, January 21, 2017, a number of searches were carried out on Sunday, January 22 and Tuesday, January 24 on both the Dutch side as well as the French side of St. Maarten. Also, the three suspects on board of the boat on the which the alleged drugs were transported have been detained.

The suspects are D.J.C. from Venezuela, D.O.G.V. from St. Martin and L. R. from the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile the Prosecutor has prolonged their detention with eight (8) more days. Also, D.J.C. and D.O.G.V. were lead in front of the Judge of Instruction who deemed their arrest lawful. The third suspect L.R. will appear in front of the Judge of Instruction on Wednesday, January 25. The three suspects are in restrictive custody. A fourth suspect in the case has also been heard.

In connection with the ongoing investigation three (3) house searches were on the Dutch side on Sunday, January 22. Two (2) in Cay Bay and one (1) Cole Bay. On Tuesday, January 24 another two (2) searches were held on the French side at a marina near Marigot and a house in Marigot. During the searches documents and digital data carriers were seized.

The investigation code-named “Cucumber” is still in full swing and is led by the Prosecutor’s Office in close cooperation with the St. Maarten Police Force, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and the French Gendarmerie.


OSPP Christmas message – Time to reflect

December 23, 2016
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Let’s us reflect on the true meaning on what the Christmas celebration means to most of us here in St. Maarten. Over the years we have seen the St. Maarten celebration of the Christmas season catapult like all celebrations over the world and it has become nothing more than a big commercial activity. Our people look forward to the Christmas season to receive gifts and in many cases to give gifts to those we care about. It is also a time when we want to prepare our best food, baked the most delicious cakes, the puddings, the tarts and our local drinks to share with those we know. We have also enjoyed the serenading of musicians at our homes, but this has also disappeared over the years. We have deviated so much from the true meaning of the birth of Christ. Therefore it is time that we reflect on the true meaning of the birth of Christ in order to bring things back into the right perspective. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. This celebration is about the coming of God to earth in human form to save mankind from sin and eternal death. We must reflect on the way we are living and how we treat our fellow brothers and sisters. And while our hearts open even more to share with many during this festive season we must be willing to do more for our unfortunate fellow man all year round. For what good is it if those unfortunate can eat and drink plentiful during this time of the year but has gone hungry and without proper clothing during the earlier part of the year. The true St. Maarten spirit has always been to share the little you have with each other. It is time that we reflect on the purpose of our lives here on this earth and prepare to care for our fellow neighbors not only during these festive times but during the entire year.         


Holiday SpecialS at WTN

December 19, 2016
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WTN Cable shows its appreciation to its many current and past customers by offering them free packages until the end of the year. When paying your November cable bills, you will receive two packages of your choice at no extra cost for the duration of this special.

Customers who already have the extra packages are granted a discount equal to the value of the packages. Customers whose service has been discontinued and still have their WTN Cable box can reconnect at no cost and enjoy the extra packages as well. To close off 2016 WTN Cable wants to show appreciation to the loyal customers who stuck with them through thick and thin by offering them some incentives. What better time to do so, than at the end of the year.

More customer appreciation will follow in the months to come. WTN Cable customers can look forward to other gestures around St. Maarten Day, St. Maarten Thanks Giving, Christmas and New Year, just to name a few. WTN Cable thanks its customers for their patronage during the year and look forward to continue providing them with optimal service now and in the future. WTN Cable & TV Carib. 1 721 542-5898


St. Maarten attending Caribbean’s Largest Cruise Conference and Trade Show

September 29, 2016
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POINT BLANCHE – Port St. Maarten Management and stakeholders are currently in Puerto Rico attending the Caribbean’s largest Cruise Conference and Trade Show, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), which is taking place from September 27 to 30.

The 23rd annual FCCA Conference and Trade Show is bringing together 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders and 100 senior cruise executives for a series of meetings, workshops and networking functions aimed at developing understanding, relationships and business.

The event opened on Tuesday morning with the Trade Show which has been described as the largest trade show in the event’s history with innovations like the first-ever Purchasing Initiative to coincide with the announcements of the a new FCCA sourcing program.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Conference opening ceremony featured a keynote address by Arnold Donald, president and Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation along with speeches from Puerto Rican Government officials and the unveiling of a new strategic partnership between the FCCA and Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence.

Created in 1972, the FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization that provides a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and builds 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 maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.

The Port St. Maarten delegation is headed by Mark Mingo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and includes several staff members; a representative from the Walter Plantz Square, and Port Authority National Security Team.

Other stakeholders attending are representatives from the St. Maarten Tourist Office, the Dutch Taxi Association and the Airport Taxi Association.  Stakeholders within the Port St. Maarten booth include S.E.L. Maduro and Sons, Rising Sun Tours, Wind is our Friend, and Rainforest Adventures.

“This conference and trade show once again presents the opportunity for us to meet with decision-makers in the cruise industry, and renew and pave the way for relationships for future business while at the same time showcasing what destination Sint Maarten has to offer.

“We are very much interested in learning about the new Purchasing Initiative and the Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence.  Opportunities are presented to destinations at such an event which allows us to develop business and while exploring how the industry’s latest and upcoming trends apply to Port St. Maarten and the destination as a whole.

“All the information gathered allows us to review and adjust where necessary our strategic plans based on information and business intelligence coming out of workshops and one-on-one meetings as it relates to where ships call, what sells on-board, and how to invest in destination products, shore excursions and infrastructure,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Tuesday.

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Police expresses concern about possession of tasers

September 28, 2016
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St.maarten – The police have taken notice of the increased popularity of tasers among youngsters. In two separate cases students of secondary schools were caught in the possession of a taser. They were taken away and the students were expelled from school. The Juvenile Department was informed about the situation.

“Tasers are electroshock weapons that come in different types, shapes and sizes,” the police note in a press release. “Tasers can be compared to firearms. The use of these weapons can be very dangerous and can cause severe burns and even heart attacks.”

The police warn “the entire community including youngsters that the use and possession of a taser in public places is illegal.”

The police are asking parents “to pay attention to what your children are buying and have around the house. We are better safe than sorry.”

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Homosexuals caught with liquid drugs on JFK Airport

September 28, 2016
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SINT MAARTEN / USA — Two men were busted at JFK Airport when agents learned the bottle of Bailey’s they were carrying was filled with a much stronger drink— liquid cocaine, authorities said Tuesday.

Gerald Pantophlet, 30, and his boyfriend Sherman Myers, 28, were caught trying to smuggle more than four pounds of the drinkable drug into the country on Jet Blue flight 788 from the Caribbean island of St. Maarten at around 8:30 p.m. Monday, law enforcement sources said.

Federal agents stopped the pair in JetBlue’s Terminal 5 and searched their luggage after they learned Pantophlet is not a U.S. citizen, the sources said.

Officers found the bottle of Baileys Dulce De Leche, a caramel, cream and vodka- flavored spirit, stuffed between clothing in a suitcase and tested it on-site for the drug, according to law enforcement.

Pantophlet claimed the buzz-boosting bottle was given to him by a friend on the island and that he planned to deliver it to his uncle in Brooklyn, according to authorities. He allegedly hid it luggage belonging to Myers, who works for the New York City Housing Authority and is a U.S. citizen.

Pantophlet and Myers were arraigned and both released on $50,000 bond at a Brooklyn Federal Court arraignment Tuesday.

“You’re both very lucky,” said judge Lois Bloom. “This is not going to go away.”

Myers’ mom sobbed so loudly during the hearing, the judge handed her a tissue.

Pantophlet, who is from The Netherlands and works at a wine shop, has a green card, court sources said. Neither of the men spoke during the arraignment.

Liquid-form cocaine — which generally looks like vegetable oil — has become a popular way to smuggle coke in recent years because it’s harder for law enforcement to detect, according, a non profit that tracks and researches drug trends.

It can be turned into powder through a chemical process.

The men were arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

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