SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Stuart Johnson made the following statement at a joint press conference related to the arrests of three suspects in the case of a Canadian tourists who was fatally wounded during an armed robbery and later succumbed to his injury.
The following statement of Minister Johnson’s comments were released by the Police on Friday: “On June fifth this year, the family of Sylvain Valade suffered a horrific loss while he was vacationing on our Island. The news shocked us all and today still pains us as we recall the events that unfolded on that night.
“Nothing can take away the pain from the loss that the Valade family has suffered. To have it occur at all is beyond words, and to have it happen here on our shores where we welcome and embrace all visitors from around the world each year is equally unacceptable. No one should have to ever worry about their safety while visiting our shores.
“I hope that the news of the capture and arrest of the suspects can bring some degree of comfort in the knowledge that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Our country mourns with you still today, and we will be unrelenting in our pursuit of justice.
“I want to thank the many people who made an effort in one way or another to offer some comfort to the Valade family in their time of mourning. I think the police also deserve to be highly commended for their swift work.
“In times like these, there are no set words that can be used to comfort the grieving. While you mourn, however, know that we mourn with you and we pray that God grant you strength and peace as you carry on the memory of your loved one.” (Sint Maarten Police Force)