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Attempted armed robbery results in two victims getting shot

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - The Detectives of the Sint Maarten Police Force are investigating an attempted armed robbery whereby shots were fired. The incident took place in the area of St. Peters, around midnight, in the night of March 2nd 2021 going into March the 3rd 2021.

The central dispatch received several calls about a shooting incident that took place in St. Peters and immediately directed the ambulance and several police patrols to the area.

At the scene it appeared that during the attempted armed robbery, two victims were shot and in urgent need of medical treatment. The two young men, both in their early twenties, were rushed to the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for further medical treatment.

According to the information that was gathered, three young masked men threatened the victims with a handgun and attempted to rob them of their personal belongings. The suspects did not succeed in robbing the victims and proceeded to fire several shots, before fleeing the scene in an unknown direction. Both victims, who were seriously injured, were later operated on at the S.M.M.C.

The investigation into this attempted robbery is still ongoing. Only together we can combat these types of crimes. The detectives investigating this attempted armed robbery case is asking anyone who has information about this robbery to contact the Sint Maarten Police Force, at +1 721- 542 22 22 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge).

You can also leave a Private Message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten – Korps Politie Sint Maarten) if you know or suspect something. (KPSM)


MP Buncamper applauds Minister of Justice for officially bringing back the Border Protection under the IBPS

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - “Let me publicly congratulate you (The Minister of Justice) for getting the process of the IBPS (Immigration and Border Protection Service) in its final stages,” is how Member of Parliament (MP) Claudius Buncamper started his speech on the floor of parliament in Wednesday’s meeting with the Minister of Justice, Anna Richardson.

“I know that some people may be disappointed with the change, but we must execute the law based on the LIOL (National Order of Government’s structure)” Buncamper stated.

The MP went on to say that “This department has its work cut out for it as the immigration issue is a serious one and we must deal with it humanly, but yet firmly.

The UNICEF report, that addresses the abuse of persons bringing their families to St. Maarten while we are facing serious financial challenges due to the COVID-19, needs to be addressed”. Buncamper said.  The MP enquired if the border control extension mentioned in the country packages is a done deal and what exactly it entails.

He questioned the added value of the Dutch border control over the past 3 years, seeing the large stream of illegals persons, weapons and drugs constantly coming into the country.

What will be the actions of the IBPS when residence permits expire? The MP when on to question how the illegal behavior of business owners who hire undocumented persons will be handled?

“There was a law passed which states that such practices can carry a maximum fine of 100.000 guilders. Do we make use of this law? Is it being enforced?”, the MP enquired.

The MP went on to question the tolerance with undocumented persons seeing the serious social issues  this brings about in our country in a number of aspects, such as education, health and others?

It is a fact that we currently can use some immigrant workers, but without proper control, this can deteriorate the quality of life of the legal residents. What steps are taken to ensure that foreign workers leave the island when their work and residence permits expire and are not renewed? MP Buncamper noted that St. Maarten is listed as a tier 2 country in the US department of State, and questioned how this compares with the region and the rest of the Dutch Caribbean. “How are we going to deal with the issue of children born in St. Maarten from foreign parents?”

Why was IBP Services placed under the auspices of the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM in 2016 only to see us having to turn it over to the Dutch as a condition for liquidity support in 2017? 

MP Buncamper went on to question the costs associated with the border control using KMAR versus training and employing our own people. ”How much is spent yearly from the trust funds monies on KMAR and do their employees pay their taxes to the St. Maarten government or to the Dutch government?”  How many persons will the IBPS employ to get the compliance department properly operational and ensure we have good data to make proper decisions? The MP enquired. The MP also question the duration of the recently signed border control protocol.


School safety is the starting point: Regional Review on School Safety

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The COVID-19 pandemic has made evident how fragile our different systems are. The school sector has become one of the worst affected sectors all over the world.

From the 15 to 26 March, the regional review on school safety in the context of Systemic Risk: the virtual Caribbean Safe School Initiative (CSSI) Pre-Ministerial forum will assess experiences of the education sector’s COVID-19 response and recovery prior to and during the 2020 hurricane season. It will also discuss the need for coordinating policies and actions for prevention and mitigation to build education sector resilience.

The Pre-Ministerial Forum will also highlight the fact that ensuring school safety is the starting point for reactivating the economy while discussing the fiscal limitations that might impact the region due the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic.

This event, which will set the agenda for the Third CSSI Ministerial Forum to be held in Sint Maarten in 2022, will promote a culture of disaster prevention, resilience and responsible citizenship, generate understanding of disaster risk, support mutual learning and share experiences; and encourage public and private stakeholders to actively engage in such initiatives and to develop new ones at the local, national, regional and global levels, as it is envisioned in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The forum will host not only meetings between the Ministers of Education of the Caribbean region but also between permanent secretaries, national disaster management offices directors, inter-sectoral partners, educational practitioners and youth organizations. The CSSI is integrated by 18 states and territories of the Caribbean region (CDEMA participating states), overseas territories and CARIFORUM countries, making it an initiative of the wider Caribbean.

The opening session will be attended by Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, the Executive Director of CDEMA, Honorable Curtis King Ministry of Education of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Hon. Rodolphe E. Samuel Ministry of Education of St Maarten.

The virtual Caribbean Safe School Initiative Pre-Ministerial forum is organized by the Safe School working group of the education sector sub-committee of the Caribbean Disaster management coordination and harmonization council, with leadership of the Government of Sint Maarten and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.


Two Armed robbers hit Happy Valley Supermarket on Monday evening

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Special Robbery Unit of the Police Department is presently investigating an armed robbery on the Happy Valley Supermarket at the A.Th. Illidge Road, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.

The incident took place on Monday March 1st, 2021 at approximately 8.00 p.m. The Central Dispatch received several calls about a robbery in progress on the A.Th. Illidge road, who immediately directed the police patrols to investigate what had taken place.

On the scene the officers spoke to the victims and several witnesses. According to the information that was gathered, two young, masked man armed with a handgun, threatened the employee and took money from the cash register.

The suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money in the direction of the Garden of Eden. This investigation into this robbery is still ongoing.

Only together we can combat these types of crimes. The detectives investigating this armed robbery case is asking anyone who has information about this robbery to contact the Sint Maarten Police Force, at +1 721- 542 22 22 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge).

You can also leave a Private Message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten – Korps Politie Sint Maarten) if you know or suspect something. (KPSM)


36-Year-Old Arrested and Transferred from the Netherlands. Is a Suspect in the Hato Shooting

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at the request of the Public Prosecutor's Office Curaçao, the 36-year-old J.K. was arrested in the Netherlands in the large-scale investigation called Themis. J.K. is suspected to have been involved in a shooting that is known on Curaçao as the "Hato shooting".

On July 15, 2014, two persons were shot to death with automatic firearms at the Curaçao International Airport. Seven bystanders at the airport were wounded. Five suspects were previously arrested in this case.

The two shooters were sentenced to life imprisonment. The other three suspects were sentenced to terms of 12, 14 and 24 years. J.K. is accused of involvement in the murders. Because J.K. was residing in the Netherlands, the Curaçao Public Prosecutor's Office, with the order of the Curaçao examining judge, requested the Netherlands for his arrest and transfer to Curaçao.

The suspect J.K. has meanwhile been transferred to Curaçao and will be brought before the examining judge in Curaçao this week. Themis is an investigation regarding offences that have been committed in several countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and abroad.

Therefore, a special investigation team was formed for this research, consisting of members of the police forces of Sint Maarten, Curaçao, Aruba and the Joint Criminal Investigation Team (RST). This investigation team is under the leadership of the Public Prosecutor’s Office Sint Maarten and the Public Prosecutor’s Office Curaçao.

Earlier arrests have taken place in this investigation in November 2020 and in February 2021. Anyone with information that can help the investigation team can reach the team at the following telephone/WhatsApp numbers: +5999 521 3865 (Curaçao).

Those who prefer to remain anonymous can share information through the following tip lines (also WhatsApp): +5999 679 2896 (Curaçao) or +1 721 553 0561 (Sint Maarten).


1000th COVID-19 Vaccine Administered. Sint Maarten Protected Together

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – On Monday March 1st, the 1000th vaccine was administered at the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Collective Prevention Service (CPS) offices on the very first day of opening up for the administering of vaccines.

The number was brought up to over 900 vaccinations carried out collectively by the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) last week.

Fittingly, Mederica Marshall-Marlin, who is a retired community worker, was the happy recipient of the 1000th vaccine said: “I’m happy to receive the vaccine because it will help my body to protect me against COVID-19 virus, and I would like to encourage everyone on Sint Maarten to come out and get vaccinated too!’’

CPS is currently vaccinating the second priority risk group, consisting of persons 60 years and older. The total amount of registrations is gradually increasing and has passed the 5000 mark on Monday.

However, the number of registered people 60 years and older are still low, which is unfortunate because this group is most at risk of the severe side effects from the COVID-19 disease.

More persons of this priority risk group are encouraged to register themselves because the Pfizer vaccine is especially effective within this age group. A low number of registrations might affect the next supply of vaccines coming from the Netherlands, where they are experiencing a severe scarcity of vaccines.

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has also shown to be effective against the British COVID-19 strain, from which we know that it has already been found on island. This variant has caused a sudden peak rise in active cases and hospitalizations in for example Aruba. So even though our current active cases are relatively low, we have to remain cautious.

The Vaccination Management Team (VMT), therefore, encourages everyone (and especially if you are 60 years and older), to register to receive the vaccine. If you are under 60 but have a family member or friend who is above 60, please offer to help them with their registration if needed. You can also call CPS or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The online registration form is currently available in Spanish and Creole and can be found via the following link: .

For the paper-based “COVID Vaccine Registration Form,” this can be picked up at several locations, including CPS at the Vineyard Office Park Building, the Division of Labor Affairs at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center in Simpson Bay, Doctors’ offices, the Government Administration Building, and select pharmacies.

St. Maarten protected together.


Captured by Corona Published by Beyond Kultura soon to be launched

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The book ‘Captured by Corona’ was recently published by Beyond Kultura Events Foundation and will soon be launched on Sint Maarten. ‘How can it be different? Sint Maarten students and adults are featured with their precious poems and letters in this hard cover, full colored book, of which we are very proud of’, Morales, president of the Beyond Kultura Events Foundation, stated.

BKE has called up all children and adults of Saba, Statia, Sint Maarten and Anguilla to participate in its writing competition 2020.

Theme was people’s experiences with the COVID-19 and the Lock down period. Main questions were: How are you and your family coping with the condition or situation? Is your world upside down because of the lock down? What do you like and what do you dislike about this period? As a whole, what are your feelings about the situation and what are your expectations and wishes? Which opportunities do you see? The deadline for submission of Poems, Haiku, Letters, Cry out etc. 15th of May 2020.

An international committee of four literary specialists has gotten the poems and letters with only a code. No names were given in order to maintain objectivity in the judging process. The committee has selected the best poems for Beyond Kultura.

‘We are very happy with the high quality of the entrees,’ Morales stated.

The best poems, Haiku’s, letters and cry outs are published in this ‘Captured by Corona’ book, decorated with beautiful paintings of Penka Petkova.

The winners in the Category Children for Poems and Haiku are: Gabriel Amado with title Free, Gabriel Antunez with Me in Quarantine, Arhan Baharani with Coping with Confinement, Christiaan (Chris) de Wilde with Coronavirus, Stella Palmer with Confinement, Sahana Rinker with Quarantine, Pranay Shahdadpuri with Coronavirus (Third Place), Kendrys Vilorio with Virtual Hug.

The winners in the Category Children for Letters are: Ahmad Abdallah with title Stop Covid-19, Stefanie Frederiks with How I Am Coping with Confinement, Sophia Suire with with How I Am Coping with Confinement (First Place) and Sachedy Doran of the MAC with Go Away Rona.

Winning Adults are: Marianne Tefft, Xiomara Frans Muller, Joycelyn Hanley, Lixzandra Marquez, Loekie Morales and Orlando Patterson.

The publishing and distribution of this COVID-19 lock down experiences book to primary schools has been possible, thanks to the financial support of the Prins Berhard Cultural Fund Caribbean, N.V. GEBE, UNESCO SXM and BKE.

All Sint Maarten primary schools will get the books for comprehensive reading in English literature. The books will be accompanied by Posters to teach the holistic 3-W method of Marianne Tefft and Loekie Morales to prevent COVID-19: Wash your hands, Widen the social distance and Wear your Mask! There are also T-shirts, stickers and mocks with Winnie- the Hero Girl, holding up her 3-W fingers to remind us to prevent and to keep safe. These items are for sale at Beyond Kultura at 5271223.



SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Island Innovation, an international social enterprise, has announced this year's Island Innovation Ambassadors, a network of islanders from across the globe, including Ambassador Stuart Johnson from St. Maarten. These new members empower islands by communicating and developing creative solutions to shared challenges.

The Ambassadors will serve as bridges between their communities, connecting distant islands to ignite conversations about complex and evolving issues. Ambassadors will serve as representatives for island communities across the globe, ranging from St. Maarten to Öland (Sweden) to Fiji to Jamaica to Hawai’i to Tierra del Fuego (Chile). They will partner with and amplify the voices of politicians, entrepreneurs, innovators, activists and community leaders. The ambassador network allows for global exchange in expertise without geographic limitation, and encourages collaboration.

Johnson stated, "Island Innovation serves as a platform to foster a connection for diverse stakeholders from island communities, regardless of size, political status or location. Islands often face similar challenges to one another but are forced to tackle them separately due to barriers created by distance, language, and culture. The Island Innovation Ambassador program allows for cohesion, collaboration and idea sharing from our ambassadors’ unique perspective while exchanging best practices.”

The Ambassadors will collaborate towards creating a successful Virtual Island Summit, which will be held online from September 6-12, 2021 and anticipates over 10,000 island stakeholders in attendance. In the face of emerging worldwide crises such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, the spirit of international problem solving fostered by the Virtual Island Summit is more critical than ever.

James Ellsmoor, Island Innovation founder, commented: "The Island Innovation ambassadors play an incredibly important role in transmitting sustainable innovations between island communities and sharing best practices. This year’s ambassador cohort is incredibly passionate about economic and environmental issues facing islands, international cooperation, and sustainable development. We are thrilled to have Stuart Johnson representing St. Maarten.” 

Johnson added, “It is truly an honor becoming an ambassador and presenting our country as I look forward to encouraging and supporting more ambassadors to join from St. Maarten next year.”

Island Innovation brings together the private sector, government, utilities, NGOs and universities to advance innovation for sustainability and prosperity in islands worldwide. For more information, visit the Island Innovation Website. To find more information about Ambassadors in your community, visit the Ambassador Page.

For further inquiries, please contact:

Isabel Godoy, Partnerships and Ambassadors Manager

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WhatsApp: +56966195117


PJIA, Schiphol agreement increases financial pressure says Emmanuel

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Government of St. Maarten and the Princess Juliana Airport Operating Company (PJIAH) must avoid renewing the cooperation agreement with Schiphol and the Netherlands without carefully examining the financial detriments of the agreement to PJIA itself.

Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Christophe Emmanuel, based on factual financial figures in his possession, said the cooperation agreement to date has only added to the financial woes of PJIA due to increased financial pressure it places on PJIAE at a time of crisis and low revenue.

This increased financial pressure, he explained, is derived from high consultant fees and fees that PJIA has to pay to Schiphol Airport for persons that Schiphol appointed to PJIA. He pointed out that consultant fees amount to more than Naf 10 million, the highest they have ever been in the history of PJIA. In fact, the MP said, consultant fees jumped from approximately Naf 4.5 million in 2017, to approximately Naf 7 million in 2018 then to the current amounts of over Naf 10 million in 2019 and 2020.

The MP said that while people think that the support/assistance from Schiphol Airport is being covered by Schiphol, it is PJIA that is carrying the load. “So much for assistance,” the MP said. He went on to break down those costs which amount to approximately US $ 2 million over the last two years.

PJIA pays:

Schiphol appointed CFO – Naf 468,000 per year (incl. travel, house rent, vehicle)

Schiphol appointed Project Controller – Naf 495,000 per year (incl. travel, house rent, vehicle)

Schiphol appointed Procurement Officer – Naf 163,000 per year (incl. house rent)

Environmentalist as per World Bank – Naf 208,000 per year

Project Manager reconstruction – Naf 477,000 per year (incl. travel, house rent, vehicle)

“It is important to mention that these amounts exclude PJIA employees as well as the amounts that Royal Schiphol Group gets from the Dutch government (BZK) which amounts to 1 million Euro per year for services rendered to PJIAE as per the existing Cooperation Agreement,” Emmanuel said, adding that the 2 million also excludes the board fees and accommodations, travel allowances and airfare costs of the Schiphol proposed board members of PJIAE and PJIAH (1 each), who reside in New York and in Florida respectively.  

MP Emmanuel also reminded that to date nothing from the construction portion financed by the World Bank and the EIB and counterpart funds has been spent. Up to December 31, 2020 the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project has spent US $11.5 million, of which US $8.3 million has been spent on the design and almost US $3.05 million on project overhead.

“All this time PJIA is hemorrhaging money, three years after hurricane Irma. PJIA is not projected to be in a positive liquidity position until 2024 and that will only become a reality if we cut back on this project and take hold of what is happening at PJIA now. PJIA could be in a negative liquidity position of almost Naf 57 million by the end of 2021 and out of money months before. In 2024 the airport will still be paying its original bond indenture loan, which runs until 2027. It is not until 2028 the airport will be free of that loan barring any other crisis.

“We have to rid ourselves of this poor management and supervisory board and these ridiculous fees that PJIAE has to pay to Schiphol. And that means the holding company dismissing the CEO and carefully considering what to do with that cooperation agreement which is coming up for renewal,” MP Emmanuel said.


Second Governor’s Youth Awards for Excellence Program 2021 Planned for June

SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) - The Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency drs. E.B. Holiday, announced he will be hosting the second annual Governor’s Youth Awards For Excellence Program. Governor Holiday considers it important for young people to develop the qualities required to take an active and constructive role in Sint Maarten.

The Governor believes that cultivating an attitude of excellence is instrumental to developing such qualities. The Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence Program has therefore been designed to recognize youths, ages 13 through 19, who have performed above and beyond and excelled in specific fields in our community. The categories for which young persons will be recognized are:

  1. Education –Youth Award for Excellence in Academics
  2. Sports – Youth Award for Excellence in Sports
  3. Arts – Youth Award for Excellence in Arts
  4. Environmental protection – Youth Award for Excellence in Environment Protection
  5. Community service – Youth Award for Excellence in Community Service

The Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence will be awarded to youths who have attained a level of excellence in the selected fields greater than that achieved by others, or whose performances have been so exceptional that these achievements have identified them as being clearly outstanding from others. Selected nominees, their parents and their nominators will be invited to attend the Awards Ceremony. Winners will receive their Youth Award for Excellence at the Award Ceremony on June 24, 2021.

The 2020 winners of Governor’ Youth Award for excellence were:

  • Sarah Bharwani, recipient in the category Environmental Protection;
  • Nigel Alexander Adriana, co-recipient in the category Academics;
  • Riya Baharani Khemchandani co-recipient in the category Academics; and
  • Ray-Angel Clarence Antrobus Boasman, recipient in the category Arts.

Starting March 1, 2021, educational institutions, sports organizations, creative industries, environmental organizations, youth organizations, faith-based organizations, service clubs, community organizations or others who know a young person who deserves to be recognized for their outstanding achievements are requested to submit nominations using the nomination forms.

Nominations must contain detailed examples and supporting documentation of the achievements and activities of the nominated youth. It should also contain evidence of compliance with eligibility, general and specific criteria established in the award guidelines. Winners are selected based on a recommendation by the evaluation committee. The evaluation committee is comprised of the following multi-disciplinary panel of professionals: Mrs. Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet (Chairperson), Ms. Cassandra Janssen (Secretary), Dr. Rolinda Carter, Mr. Maikel Cornet, Ms. Clara Reyes, Mr. Rueben Thompson and Mrs. Fabiana Vanterpool-Arnell.

Persons and organizations are requested to submit typed nominations electronically via the nomination form no later than 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2021.

For further details on the nomination process please see the Governor of Sint Maarten website or contact the Cabinet of the Governor of Sint Maarten via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Responses to questions will be provided via the Governor’s website.

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