Charges draw a bleak picture of sex-business



GREAT BAY – The suspects in the Parrot-investigation are charged with exploitation, robbing prostitutes at the Casa Blanca brothel of their freedom and firearm possession.

From the summonses it appears that they recruited woman as barmaids, waitresses or exotic dancers and that they put them to work in prostitution through coercion, violence, threatening with violence, fraud and by misleading them.

The women had to pay $50 up to $60 a day, or $500 per week for a room they had to share with others and where they had to live and work.

Casa Blanca charged the women with $1,500 up to $3,500 for their labor contract, work permit and airfare to St. Maarten.

The women also had to pay $3 to $5 for a condom, while the prostitution policy of the government states that the clubs have to provide them for free.

Casa Blanca paid the women with a ticket system, whereby they were forced to let go of a large part of the money they earned; the club also imposed an extensive penalty-system, took away the women’s passports and did not pay a salary proportional to the work they did; payment often took place only at the end of a contract.

The women had to work six to seven days a week and were obliged to have their nails done once a week on the premises.

Furthermore, the summonses state, the women were locked up after work; it is unclear whether the rooms were locked or that the gate leading to the rooms was locked from the outside. The women also had to sign a contract stating at which times they were allowed to leave the building. Spending time outside the brothel without customers was also severely limited, the summonses note.

Several of the women have declared that they had to pay if they wanted to leave the building.

Augusto R. is also charged with firearm possession. During his arrest on November 16, 2015, he was found in the possession of four handguns and a rifle. He also had fourteen throwing knives, a butterfly knife, a knuckle duster and two pellet rifles.

David E. was also found in the possession of a handgun.