Jail time for human smugglers

1274
Sint Maarten Courthouse

 

PHILIPSBURG – The Court in First Instance of St. Maarten sentenced C.E.S. (59) on Wednesday, December 14, to 14 months in jail for human smuggling.

The Court found it proven that that C.E.S. provided false travel documents to two Jamaican women who tried to enter St. Maarten through the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) on April 13, 2016. C.E.S. had been instrumental in providing the women illegal access to St. Maarten.

Two other suspects, N.G. (44) and Z.C. (31) were also sentenced by the Court of First Instance for human smuggling. They had given the false travel documents to the Jamaican women and also gave them instructions as to what to say to the immigration officers at the airport. N.G. and Z.C were sentenced to 3 months in jail fully conditional and 60 hours of community service.

A fourth suspect, J.E.W. (28), suspected of falsifying the travel documents, has been acquitted of all charges. The Prosecutor had asked for his acquittal because he believed the case file did not contain enough legal and convincing evidence that would lead to a conviction.

The investigation against the four suspects was carried out by the Unit Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking (UMM). This unit consists of members of the St. Maarten Police Force and the Royal Dutch Marechaussees.

Combating Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking is one of the priorities of the Police Force and the Prosecutor’s Office. Human Smuggling is defined as providing illegal entrance to and residence on St. Maarten. Human Trafficking involves exploitation.