Sint Maarten / Curacao — On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the extradition of Ramphis “Ronchi” Rietwijk (1965), Rogelio “Greg” Koeiman (1968) and Gilbertico “Kalala” Felecia (1978) to the United States has taken place. They left Curacao (Felecia and Rietwijk) and St. Maarten (Koeiman) on a special flight of the US authorities.
The extradition of Koeiman, Rietwijk and Felecia has known a long trajectory which started in 2013 with the arrest and extradition requests for the three by the United States. This in connection with allegations of involvement in at least two drug shipments from Philipsburg to the US. Their apprehension was ordered in July 2013 by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The entire process has been going on since 2013. The extradition request was heard on two occasions by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in The Hague. The first time it was heard at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office because the Joint Court of Justice had advised against the extradition. The Supreme Court however agreed with the Prosecutor’s Office. After the Joint Court of Justice heard the extradition request for a second time, the lawyer the three men appealed to the Supreme Court again.
On November 15, 2016 the Supreme Court finally ruled that extradition request is undoubtedly permissible. Subsequently the lawyers of the three men tried through a number of civil summary proceedings to prevent the actual extradition to take place. All these summary proceedings were lost.
Ultimately the Governors of Curaçao and Sint Maarten on January 16, 2017 took the final decision on extradition.