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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2848)

No additional fees being charged by WIB for interbank transfers. System glitch being investigated

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Windward Islands Bank (WIB) hereby informs its customers that it is investigating a glitch in its transfer system, which is causing additional charges/fees when processing transactions, WIB said on Monday afternoon in a media statement.

“This glitch was identified as clients began processing transactions on CBCS’ new payment platform.

“The Bank assures its customers and the general public that no additional charges/fees are being included by WIB for interbank transfers.

“The Bank is working assiduously to correct this glitch and will ensure all corrections are made to any accounts affected.

“Clients who may have been affected can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 546-2942.”

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MP Arrindell presents amendment for reallocation of funds towards Road Repairs

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In a follow up with concerns posed to the Minister Vromi concerning deplorable roads, independent Member of Parliament (MP) Akeem Arrindell comes good on his word and in Friday’s Budget meeting brought forward an Amendment for the first time since being in office in regard to allocating additional funds for repairs/resurfacing the roads of St. Maarten, the MP said in a press statement on Monday.

“Together with MP Rolando Brison we looked for ideas for re-allocation of funds to ensure monies could be made available. We found ways to make this a reality, which the cost for restoration and beautification of the Marketplace in Philipsburg which was part of budget 2022 will now instead be released by investment from Port St. Maarten.

“This will free up six hundred thousand (600,000) that can now be added to already five million (5,000,000) from Ring Road which now gives Ministry Vromi a total of five million six hundred thousand (5,600,000) to ensure roads such as the Entrance to Cay Bay up to US Laundry are properly repaired and the root cause of these constant repairs are also taken care of.

“Other areas such as Dutch Quarter, Welfare Road, are also to be repaired. These areas have become an eyesore and danger to the general public and visitors alike and repair actions are needed post haste,” MP Akeem Arrindell concluded in his press statement.

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Follow up letter to the Editor: Michael J. Ferrier does NOT have delinquent debt

SINT MAARTEN (COMMENTARY – By Michael J. Ferrier) - Allow me to publicly thank Mr. Russell Simmons for his comments as they relate to me in his op-ed of Jan 20. 

He states that he is not defending me, as I can do so myself. And while I like the message to others in his piece, I need to indeed defend myself against what some might call SXM’s version of ‘THE BIG LIE’.

I have said it once, twice, three, four, five, six and up to SEVEN times already, and I say it now again: I, MICHAEL J. FERRIER do not have any delinquent financial debt to the Government of Sint Maarten, or for that matter to any Government, company, Institution, or person ANYWHERE in the world. 

So, Russell, in your commentary you might have used the word ‘ALLEGED’ after “Mr. Ferrier’s” and before “financial debt….”. And also, I do take offense when it seems you lump me with “those other businesspeople who ALSO owe the Government plenty of money for taxes”. 

For the ninth time: I do not owe delinquent taxes, or fees of any kind including for long lease land. I challenge anybody to prove differently.

Peace!

Michael J. Ferrier

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Louise Rombley passes on at 70, lovingly missed by her family

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Julia Louise Rombley died on January 13, 2022, at St. Maarten Medical Center. She was 70.

Louise, as she was better known, leaves her children, Angelo Rombley (USA) and Andrew Rombley (St. Martin); daughter-in-law Morgan Rombley; and granddaughter Isabella Rombley.

Louise is survived by 11 of her 13 brothers and sisters, and a host of nieces and nephews; extended family, and friends. 

Born in Charleston, Nevis, on August 30, 1951, Louise was the 12th child of 11 daughters and three sons of the late Reynold and Francis Halbert, both farmers. Louise was related to the Halbert, Rombley, Hodge, Hanley, Thompson, Walwyn, and Webbe families. Her earliest education was at the Charlestown Secondary School.

In 1971, Louise and her younger sister, Iris, moved to the neighboring Caribbean island of St. Martin. She soon found employment at Food Center as a cashier. In 1972, Louise began working at Bank of Nova Scotia and was “an excellent employee as recognized by the numerous employee awards” that she received before retiring in 2000, said Angelo.

Not long after migrating to St. Martin Louise met Cole Bay native and fireman Pedro Rombley “and on September 29, 1973, Mom and Dad got married,” said Angelo. The photography enthusiast was also an active volunteer member of the Methodist Church.

Family, friends, and her Scotiabank family fondly remember that Louise relished cooking for her loved ones. Her “traditional Caribbean cooking and baking; … especially her johnny cake and souse” always made you come back for more, said her children and family friends gathered at the home of the deceased last weekend. Upon hearing of her passing, a weeping granddaughter said to her father, Angelo, “I just wanted see her one more time and cook with Grandma.”

The private family viewing of the deceased will be held at Emerald Funeral Home, Welgelegen Road, Cay Hill, on Friday, January 21, 2022, 8 am – 8:30 am, said Andrew.

The memorial service for Julia Louise Rombley will be held at the Methodist Church, Frontstreet, Philipsburg, on Friday, January 21, 2022. The public viewing at the church, 9 am – 9:45 am, will be followed by the funeral service at 10 am to 11 am. Interment will follow at Great Bay cemetery. Memorial donations may be made in the name of Julia Louise Rombley to Andrew or Angelo Rombley.

Farewell, Julia Louise Rombley.

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USP: Ferrier is the kettle and pot having a conversation

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The United St. Maarten Party (USP) on Tuesday reacted to Michael Ferrier’s criticism of the party as “the proverbial kettle having a conversation with the pot, with both knowing each other well.” The party board asked the public to “consider the source of the criticism” and dismissed Ferrier as a condemned crook who for some reason is still seeking to be relevant on the political landscape of St. Maarten.

Ferrier, the board noted, with his history of shady business right up to dodging from paying almost NAf 1.3 million in owed land fees to the government of St. Maarten, should be the last person to be critical. “This money was owed while he was Minister of Finance. Talk about immorality,” the board said.

Lest we forget, the board continued, Ferrier and his Shipyard N.V. were not only condemned by the court to go pay the outstanding money, but he was also condemned by the Parliament of St. Maarten for the same issue, via a motion in August 2019. Parliament also established in the same motion that Ferrier provided information under false pretenses that could be considered forgery.

“The money he and his business partners refused to pay to the coffers of St. Maarten could have gone to schools, the police, infrastructure repair, needed subsidies and the like. Instead, to further enrich themselves, they willfully skirted their legal obligation to pay,” the USP board said.

“This is a person who stood on his high horse as a Minister of Finance and insulted the people of St. Maarten by calling them tax dodgers, while he and his company milked this country. Today, he is trying to rehab his image by trying to disparage the USP and painting a holier-than-thou picture of himself. But the people have not forgotten that he is a condemned, failed, irrelevant former public servant who used his title to hide his shady affairs,” the board concluded.

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New safety protocols in place for Police Detective Department

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM has reimplemented its strict Covid-19 safety protocol to protect its officers and visitors to the police (sub)station(s).

The public, therefore, encourages to email the Detective Department in the event of a simple complaint.

An appointment to file a report can be scheduled with the Detective Department.

If the situation regards an urgent matter that must be reported, you may visit the Philipsburg Police Station to file an official complaint.

The Detectives Department can be reached via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone: (+1 721) 542 2222 ext. 208, 223 or 214. (KPSM)

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Stories in our newspaper of Jan 17, 2022 that make me go ‘Hmmm’…..

  1. Police warn motorcyclists against dangerous behavior! 

When will the WARNINGS stop and the ZERO tolerance of shenanigans on motorbikes kick in?

  1. Judge orders Air Traffic Controllers back to work. 

While the 30 or so ATControllers are part of the 200plus SXM-Airport employees, the Controllers’ job performance, or lack thereof on days like this past January 2nd, can cause accidents and incidents with catastrophic and deadly consequences. Very few other SXM-Airport jobs (if any) carry such a burden. Airport Management might consider carving them out of the rest and deal with their issues separately.

  1. Parliament to examine Brownbill’s credentials. 

REALLY?? How about the ‘Honorable’ replacement showing some integrity by offering to remove himself from consideration for the seat in Parliament that now is vacant, seeing his own experience with the justice system. What is the message here?

  1. USParty questions hospital agreement.

Maybe the USParty would be better served questioning themselves and evaluating their campaign promise of “Integrity and proper representation”.

  1. Buncamper says serious choices to be made; Reset button cannot be pushed again.

While he says that the Reset Button cannot be pushed again (for the country), the lengthy Press-Release on page 4 of the newspaper is either a political ‘magic trick’, or proof that his own personal Reset Button WAS in fact pushed, so “Business as usual” would kick-in. Convicted by our Court of Law, unceremoniously removed from Parliament (while remaining on its payroll as MP # 16), the MP appears to take a page out of an Ex-USA-President’s playbook: Deny, deflect and assign “problems” to others, all the while hoping that posts on Social Media and in the mainstream press, will cause the average citizen to soon forget all transgressions!

Michael J. Ferrier

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Alpha Team reflects on 2021 operations

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Alpha Team has compiled an analysis of its operations in 2021 to compare with those of previous years in particular the number of packages of narcotics intercepted by the team, the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) said on Sunday in a statement.

The amount of narcotics intercepted and confiscated at Princess Juliana International Airport and Port St. Maarten cargo section is much high compared to previous years.

The reason for the increase is not completely clear as yet. The Alpha Team will continue to monitor this situation.

The Alpha Team is a jointly multidisciplinary team comprising the Police Force of St. Maarten KPSM, Customs, Immigration, the Koninklijke Marechaussee, and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard. (KPSM)

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USP questions the security of the hospital contractual agreement signed with INSO

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The board of the United St. Maarten Party (USP) on Sunday said it is astounded by government’s lackadaisical approach towards what is happening at the hospital project and questioned the status and security of the contract signed for the hospital project with INSO, now FINSO. “The many financial setbacks reported at the project should be raising alarms within government,” President of the USP Cecil Nicholas said.

The now confirmed reports about contractors and sub-contractors not being paid as well as the report of the recent resignation (forced or otherwise) of a financial executive attached to the project, “is very concerning to our party in particular after the people of St. Maarten was assured a project with air-tight financial management and control,” Nicholas said.

Nicholas pointed out that Minister of Public Health Omar Ottley’s “simplified response” to the ongoing saga at SMMC does not speak to previously mentioned assurances made by the former Director of the SMMC Kleen Klarenbeek in 2019, which assured SZV, the pension fund and the people of St. Maarten of a secured investment.

“Difficulties in opening a bank account cannot and should not be the order of the day, but beyond that promises made on the floor of Parliament with regards to safe guarding the people’s patrimony has to be accounted for. This project, like PJIA reconstruction, is simply taking too long and has too many questions hovering over it which government continuously dismisses as trivial,” Nicholas said.

In 2019 during the period when concerns were raised about INSO financial stability and ability to guarantee the completion of SMMC vision of expansion, Klarenbeek expressed willingness to work with INSO under “strict, strict conditions”.

The USP board further questioned the strength of the signed contract. “Why have the strict conditions not been enforced? Did the specific clause allowing SMMC to pay contractors directly make it to the final draft of the contract? If not, why not? If it was included why hasn’t it been executed?” Nicholas questioned.

On June 1st 2021 INSO was acquired by Fincantieri Infrastructure, (FINSO). The original contract signed at the time for the construction/expansion of SMMC with embattled INSO was supposed to include securities to prevent the kind of scenarios taking place right now. In addition to an on demand performance bond and payment bond, SMMC supposedly to enter into direct agreements with “critical” subcontractors in case INSO was structurally unable to pay outstanding subcontractors.

“INSO has been a topic of negative discussion from the inception of construction talks at SMMC, the people were assured that all the warning signs and red flags associated with this company could be negated through strong contractual agreements. The government should at the least conduct an inquiry to determine that the country isn’t getting a six for a nine once again,” Nicholas concluded.

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