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Net closing in on Car Thieves. Joint Dutch & French Approach to Combat Car Theft Crimes

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In an effort to combat the increase in car theft crimes on both the Dutch side and the French side of the island, the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) together with the Public Prosecutor (OM) met with the Gendarmarie on Thursday 6th February, to come up with a plan of approach to solve this growing issue, the police announced on Friday. 

The meeting, which was held at the Philipsburg police station, was a means for all parties to come up with a joint solution to help alleviate car theft and formulate a tackle plan to do so. During the meeting information was exchanged of all current cases of car theft reports on both the Dutch side and French sides of the island.

In the upcoming weeks, KPSM, the OM and the Gendarmarie will be meeting with the different key stakeholders to derive a plan on how they can better reintegrate cars into circulation. The different stakeholders that will be met with are the insurance companies on the island as well as TEATT’s (Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications) Inspection Department.

The hope is to better understand how the processes are currently done and to brainstorm on how all parties concerned can jointly come up with new and improved ways to register and insure all cars.

This will then make it next to impossible for stolen vehicles not to be detected and reported when the thieves try to reintegrate the cars into the circulation of the community. The proper authorities can then be immediately alerted, and these car thieves can be apprehended. 

“We know cars are an important part of our lives, almost as important as our homes. Instead of making yourself an easy target take a moment to inspect your vehicle. Take precautionary measures by: always taking your keys with you when you leave your vehicle; always close your windows and doors when you are not in your vehicle; make an effort to park in well lit areas at all times; never leave your vehicle unattended while running; never leave valuables in the vehicle in plain eyes view; protect your vehicle with an antitheft / immobilizer device, the police statement advises..

In the end Law Enforcement can only do so much to help prevent cars from being stolen. Prevention is always better than finding a cure, protect your property by taking the necessary precautionary measures. (KPSM) 

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WIB promotes “Chip 40 campaign for St. Maarten Heineken Regatta VIP passes”

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Windward Islands Bank (WIB) has launched its new Chip 40 campaign to promote the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the WIB card products: “MasterCard Fun Miles” credit card “My Card” and Bankomatiko Smartcard, WIB announced on Friday in a press statement.  

Purchases made by Chipping or swiping $ 40 or more, or NAF equivalent with their WIB “MY card” or WIB Bankomatiko card on WIB merchant terminals during the campaign period of February 1st to February 28th, 2020 have a fun chance to win VIP Passes for the St Maarten Heineken Regatta parties! 

Card sale receipts can be dropped off in campaign marked boxes at WIB branches. On March 3, 2020 two persons will have a chance to win 2 VIP Passes each.                                             

WIB is a proud sponsor and the Official Bank of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the world’s largest warm water regatta.  Remember you can also use your WIB cards to purchase tickets at the regatta village. 

This world-renowned sailing event offers a great combination of four days of challenging races and fantastic parties; living up to the event’s motto “Serious Fun”!

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will celebrate its 40th edition from March 5-8, 2020. WIB your Partner in Progress.

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Kerai Kreative Style Celebrates 4th Anniversary

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The month of February is here, besides being the "love month", it is also a very special month for Kenty Lichtenberg, founder and owner of www.keraikreativestyle.com  Kerai Kreative Style is St.Maarten's first Plus Size Awarded Blogger.

Kerai Kreative Style was born on February 2016. "After attending an unplanned blogger's seminar by one of our very own Leslie Samuel, I decided that I had all the elements ready to start my blogging journey". Although skeptical at first, I believe that this blog would be a platform that could be used for women, not only locally but all over the world. I had no blogging experience, but this was a project that I wanted to do since 2011...however the timing was off, and I kept postponing it until that February 16th. I went Live using a picture that I took with my phone, and I just wrote from my heart.

From that day on, I have been blogging every day, and building not only the Social Media handles, but my local / regional and international network. The blog has been able to connect me to people and places that under regular circumstances would not have happened. t has challenged my inner fears and creativity so that I would be able to grow while walking through this journey.

Fast forward to 2020, I am elated for everything that I have been able to accomplish. It would be extremely unfair for me to take the full credit for this, when I know that specially the St. Maarten business community took chances in supporting an idea / concept that is not the most popular in the Caribbean. If you look at the success stories of Caribbean bloggers, they are blogging OUTSIDE of their Caribbean country. Luckily for me, I have been able to build it out of my home base. With great support from family, businesses and friends, this blog has been awarded and recognized both locally and internationally for its content, consistency and diversity.

This is why the month of February is extra special for me and I have decided to launch an anniversary campaign, supported by great Sponsors that are on bard and that have contributed great prizes towards this 4th jubilee.

As of today, February 6th, you can participate and win amazing prizes by following 3 simple steps:

  1. Like / Share the announcement post: https://www.facebook.com/keraikreativestyle/
  2. Follow both of my social media handles: https://www.instagram.com/keraikreativestyle2016/
  3. Invite 5 or more friends to like our sponsor's pages as well

Winners will be announced every Sunday, during the month of February. This would not have been possible without the unconditional support of the following sponsors:  

Purrfect Bath & Bath & Body Essentials, Holland House Beach Hotel, Jolie Duzon, The Breakfast Box, Bella Fashion Outlet, T's Closet, Neisha's Beauty products & Makeup Artistry, Inglot St.Maarten, Artistic Drive, Venus, Secrets, Olay, Crest 3D & Always.

Stay tuned and follow your favorite Plus Size Blogger, there is so much more in store for you. 

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Two self-made weapons confiscated from inmates. Inmates remain silent on incident

SINT MAARTEN (POINT BLANCHE) - Following an altercation that took place at the Point Blanche prison on Saturday 1st of February, the Sint Maarten Police Force were immediately called in by the prison guards to conduct a full investigation into what took place leading up to the incident, the police said in a statement on Thursday.

The altercation involved three (3) inmates with initials F.G., J.M.G and B.F. according to the reports received by the prison guards. Inmate J.M.G sustained minor cuts; while inmate F.G was in need of medical attention at the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) from his wounds he received.

Both inmates’ injuries were said to have been caused by self-made weapons which were immediately confiscated following the altercation.

Detectives approached all parties that were said to be involved, for a statement into what took place leading up to the altercation, but all inmates were reluctant to provide any information.

A second attempt was made to gain information from the inmates on February 4th, but to no avail. No arrests were made by the Sint Maarten Police Force detectives thus far, due to this fact. (KPSM)

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Arrest made at PJIA in “Eagle” Human Smuggling Investigation

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - On Monday, February 3rd, 2020, the Human Trafficking & Smuggling Unit of the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM), together with the help of the Alpha team, arrested a male at the Princess Juliana International Airport, who was trying to leave Sint Maarten, in connection with an ongoing case of Human smuggling named “Eagle”, police announced on Thursday.

After the arrest, the suspect J.A.P. was brought to the Police Headquarters in Philipsburg, where he was questioned by the detectives of the Human Smuggling Unit and remains in custody. Due to the preliminary investigation, the Sint Maarten Police Force will not give any further information at this moment.

This investigation is being carried out by the Human Trafficking & Smuggling Unit, which consists of members of the Sint Maarten Police Force and the Royal Dutch Marechaussees (KMar).

Combating human smuggling and human trafficking is one of the priorities of the Sint Maarten Police Force and the Prosecutor's Office.

The Unit Human Trafficking & Human Smuggling can also be reached on working days between 8 am and 4 pm to report these serious types of crime, call on 542 22 22 Ext. 604 or 614. Or call 911 for immediately assistance if you see suspicious or criminal behavior. See something? Say Something! (KPSM)

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Dauphin Telecom Communication Partner of the Caribbean Foiling Championships

SAINT-MARTIN (ORIENT BAY) - Dauphin Telecom teamed up with the Caribbean Foiling Championships as Communication Partner of the event. Communication in the broadest sense of the word: indispensable to guarantee the safety of the participants. The Dauphin Telecom Data Network will be key in live tracking all competitors during the three racing days (February 21-23, 2020).

'Foiling is an extreme sport, nowadays foilers are capable of reaching speeds of over 40 knots (74km/h). Because they are so fast and cover such great distances during races it is sometimes challenging to keep an eye on everybody.

Our number one priority is that all competitors are safe on the water and that is why we teamed up with Dauphin telecom as our Communication Partner!' says Maxim van den Pol (Organizer of the Caribbean Foiling Championships).

In order to make sure that everybody is safe the organization took several safety precautions. A helmet and a Personal Flotation Device are mandatory for example. The competitors are also bound to stay within two miles of the shore and there will be safety boats and jet skis following them.

In addition, the competitors are required to carry a tracking device. This will be in the form of an application that competitors will be able to download on their smartphone. To be able to follow the participants, a GPS signal must be sent.

Dauphin Telecom partner in Communications of the event offers the solution. All participants receive a Dauphin Telecom SIM card with the required amount of data. On top of that all competitors receive a waterproof case to keep their phone dry while racing.

‘Thanks to the reliable network of Dauphin Telecom, we now know where all racers are at all times. It is nice to see how an innovative sport embraces the use of modern technology. So, to say, we cannot do without it and we would not want that in this case either’, says Sacha van der Wouden (Organizer Caribbean Foiling Championships).

The Dauphin Telecom SIM cards, data and waterproof phone cases will be given to the participants during registration on Thursday 20 February from 9-5PM or at late registration the next morning.

'The use of a tracking app also has other advantages besides its primary safety objective. By using the tracking application, competitors can review their performance afterwards to compare speeds and sailed courses. Besides that, friends, family and foiling enthusiasts can follow the races live online!', says Maxim.

The link to the tracking page can be found on the event page (www.caribbeanfoiling.com/tracking).

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Minister of VSA meets with owners of Diamond Resort on local construction workers

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development (Ministry VSA) and Labour, Mrs. Pamela Gordon Carty (MBA), along with the head of labor affairs met with the owners of Diamonds Resorts on Wednesday, January 22nd to discuss the positive way moving forward pertaining to the ongoing construction project at hand, according to a press release from the cabinet of the minister.

“During this meeting, the Minister of VSA expressed her objective to decrease the number of foreign workers on construction job sites and highly encouraged the project managers to look at hiring local and skilled workers. Both parties agreed to be in full cooperation with each other and promised to increase the number of local laborers once the project can financially sustain it.

“Bouygues Construction is known for importing and requesting permission for foreign workers in the construction field. As a result, Minister Gordon used this opportunity to champion her strong belief that more unemployed locals need to be given the opportunity to which the Manager of Bouygues was in full agreement.

“Management will be provided with a list of unemployed local construction workers from which some workers will and can be chosen to be considered for the ongoing construction projects on both Diamond Resort and Pelican. The owners of Diamond Resorts were contented with the meeting after having finalized on a positive note on the way forward.

“They are more than willing to provide the opportunities available to the local skilled workers once they have the information needed on hand. Parties left on a positive note that they will maintain contact with each other to guarantee a good working relationship.

“Minister Gordon-Carty is urging all unemployed and skilled workers to register themselves at the labor office to ensure their information is on file for any future opportunities as there are ongoing discussions with various parties.” 

pics vsa 1 ins1

Owners of Diamonds Resort together with Minister of VSA Mrs. Pamela Gordon-Carty (MBA), Head of Labour Affairs, Project managers and Bouygues Construction Manager.

 

 

 

 

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Pantophlet new Head of Economy, Transport & Telecommunication (ETT)

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) — After having served as the Head of the Department of Economic Licenses for the last 6 years, Valya Pantophlet has now moved on to head the division of Economy, Transport & Telecommunication (ETT). The division of ETT is tasked with the development of policies and regulations geared towards amongst others (sustainable) economic growth, while also providing the executing agencies with the necessary legislative tools to execute their tasks effectively and efficiently.

Minister Gordon indicated that the position became vacant following hurricane Irma in 2017. After going through several recruitment processes, Pantophlet was ultimately selected as the best candidate for the function; her appointment was approved by the Council of Ministers last week with immediate effect.

Pantophlet indicated that she is excited to start this new venture, as it is in line with her current law studies. She further feels that she can be of greater service to the country in this new role and looks forward to rolling out the necessary regulations and related activities to support the ultimate goal of sustainable development.

Pantophlet thanks her former staff at the department of Economic Licenses for their hard work, dedication and acceptance to change.

Minister Gordon-Carty added, efforts will be made within short to start the recruitment process to fill the position of Head of Economic Licenses, which has now become vacant. However, until that process is finalized, Mrs. Justine Webster, current Policy Advisor within the Department of Economic Licenses will serve as Acting Department Head. A transition period has been arranged until February 29, 2020, but all licensing related matters should be directed to Mrs. Webster effective immediately.

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Sint Maarten first destination to open its doors to Jetair Caribbean

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) – On Sunday, February 2nd, the destination welcomed a new airline to its shores, namely, Jetair Caribbean.  Both members addressed invitees who were present at SXM Airport for the inaugural flight from Curacao to Sint Maarten.

“We wish to thank members of the St. Maarten government and aviation authorities for receiving us today on our inaugural flight, but first of all, we wish to thank you for being the first Caribbean destination to open the doors to Jetair Caribbean.

“Our mission is to provide St. Maarteners with a higher quality and faster service to more destinations including South America. Soon St. Maarteners will have a wider range of destinations to travel to with Jetair. We are sure that you will rejoice when we start flying these new destinations at payable prices. We thank you for letting us in,” Antonio Ribeiro Managing Director – Jetair Caribbean said in his welcome address.

“Since the start of ALM, the Curaçao – St. Maarten - Curaçao route has been operated by all former Curaçao airline companies. As it is a very traditional route because our constitutional ties established in the former Dutch Antilles.

“Because of our history, our islands have deeply rooted relationships resulting in family and businessrelated travel. Jetair Caribbean is no exception and will continue with this tradition. For that reason, we are here today to celebrate our inaugural flight into St. Maarten and to maintain this connectivity between our islands.

“Jetair Caribbean will be operating this route with two Fokker 70 (F70), jet aircraft with seating up to 80 passengers and a flight time to and from Curaçao of 1hour and 20minutes. We hope that with our addition to this route we can offer all the St. Maarten passengers more options when choosing to travel to and from the Caribbean and south America.

“In the near future, besides Curaçao, Jetair will be connecting St. Maarten with the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Colombia either via Curaçao or point to point. We hope this will be a start of a very stable and fruitful route and we hope to see you on board on one of our aircrafts. Thank you very much,” Robert Maas Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Jetair Caribbean said on Saturday.

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Cruise ship AIDA Perla allowed to dock after meeting international and local health protocols

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The cruise ship AIDA Perla was allowed to berth along the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities on Tuesday morning after the vessels maritime health declaration submitted to the Ministry of Public Health was in line with International Health Regulations (IHR) and local health sector regulations (Public Health Ordinance of Sint Maarten) and protocols.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), after receiving the maritime health declaration prior to the vessels arrival, consulted with departmental health officials and an epidemiologist regarding four documented and reported cases of persons being ill onboard the vessel with gastroenteritis and (presented with-) fever.

As part of CPSs increased surveillance activities (Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), health officials inquired about the travel history of those who are ill, on whether they had recently traveled or lived in China or had any close physical contact with a confirmed case of 2019-nCoV infection, and there was no evidence of the aforementioned. The decision taken to allow passengers and crew to disembark are based on facts and sound medical advice.

The public health of the people of Sint Maarten are a top priority of Ministry VSA, and the Government remains fully engaged on the issue of infection prevention and control of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and will do all that is necessary to ensure the health and safety of Sint Maarteners.

Officials of the Ministry of Public Health have already held discussions with Port St. Maarten officials and representatives of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) regarding protocols that have been put in place for cruise ships such as pre-boarding measures and onboard protocols for handling infectious diseases that are also in alignment with the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The disembarkation of cruise passengers from AIDA Perla on Tuesday are based on the following guidelines: all sick persons remain quarantined as internationally recommended according to IHR; provide hand sanitizers in strategic areas of the ship and at points of disembarkation and embarkation of passengers and crew; increase and maintain preventive and sanitation measures; and increase awareness amongst the cruise passengers and crew about proper and continuous hand washing/hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette.

AIDA Perla is on a two-week Caribbean cruise after leaving La Romana, Dominican Republic on January 23. The vessel has already visited Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Guadeloupe. A number of ports did not allow the vessel to dock such as St. Lucia, Dominica and Antigua.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has stated that the Caribbean region has no confirmed cases or reports of the respiratory illness Coronavirus 2019-nCoV, and based on current information, the immediate health risk from this virus to the general public remains low.

AIDA Perla is scheduled to return to the Dominican Republic on February 6.

The cruise ship can carry 3400 passengers and 900 crew.

Ministry VSA continues to follow guidance from its regional and international partners concerning the Coronavirus 2019-nCoV as information becomes available from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). On an international level, the situation is constantly evolving.

For more information, you can call CPS 542-1322, 1122, 1222, 1570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AUDIO PRESS BRIEFING: Minister of Public Health Pamela Gordon-Carty along with support staff. https://we.tl/t-mCN12OS9s9

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