~No arrests made; “Cuchi” still on the loose~
PHILIPSBURG – Early Thursday morning, April 21, the police force together with the Prosecutor and Judge of Instruction, conducted three house searches at three different locations, namely Nazareth, Belvedere and South Reward.
Around 6:00am, the Arrest Team together with a team of detectives, Prosecutor, Judge of Instruction and the MDT police, started a search this morning of a house in Nazareth where they were accompanied by a female, who was present for questioning.
Then the teams proceeded to a second house located in Belvedere, which authorities also searched and another lady was present for questioning.
Finally, the law enforcement teams continued to a third house in South Reward, where they also had the third female present for questioning.
721news contacted the Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Gino Bernadina, who confirmed that indeed several houses had been searched, and a press statement would be released shortly. However, at this point he could not confirm what the authorities were looking for.
From reliable sources, 721news was informed that yesterday, Wednesday, April 20, another search was done in the area of Dutch Quarter, Nazareth Estate, where authorities continued the search for Fortune. The source also confirmed that this morning’s raid had to do with the escaped convict.
Another source close to the family of the escapee – after requesting to remain anonymous – told this media house:
“ The family is pleading to ‘Cuchi’ Fortune to please, in the interest of his mother health, to give himself to the police as soon as possible. This stress is going to give your mother a heart attack, and is not going to be good for the family. Please give yourself up at the closest police station and end this man hunt.”
In their last press release, police were asking for the public’s help in finding Fortune. A reward of NAf. 5,000 was offered to anyone with information on the whereabouts of Fortune.
Please read the last Press release of the Sint Maarten Police Force:
PHILIPSBURG – The Justice Department is still very actively searching for escaped prisoner Kathron “Cuchi” Fortune.
Fortune, who is considered armed and extremely dangerous, has been in hiding since his daring escape from two prison guards on February 15. This escape has raised much concern for safety and security in the entire community.
French and Dutch authorities continue the hunt in the form house searches, handing out of “wanted” posters, opening contact phone lines, posting of a financial reward, in order to get information from the community regarding the whereabouts of Fortune, but this has not yet given any positive results.
The Justice Department is still lacking that “golden tip” from the community in order recapture Fortune and put him back in prison where he belongs. Police believe Fortune is receiving help from persons within the community in the form of somewhere to remain in hiding, providing him with meals, clothing and transportation from one location to another. The Justice Department is again reminding the entire community that this type of assistance to any fugitive of the law is a very serious crime.
There are persons in the community, who have information, but remain reluctant to come forward with this information for fear that their identity might be released, and that they or a family member may become targets afterwards.