3 years prison demanded for J.A.J.R. in “Tarpon” case

File photo of James leaving the courthouse back in 2014


Prosecutor’s Bulletin St. Maarten

The former head of the St. Maarten National Security Service VDSM James A.J. Richardson

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Public Prosecutor of St. Maarten demanded on Wednesday, August 8, a prison sentence of 3 years and payment of the sum of NAf. 727,145. This figure is the total that was charged by the suspect James A.J. Richardson in his position as Director of the National Security Service St. Maarten (Veiligheidsdienst St. Maarten VDSM) before his employment was terminated.

An investigation – codenamed “Tarpon” – started in 2014 following a statement by the Secretary General (SG) of the Ministry of General Affairs in June of that same year, after an investigation by Government Accountant Bureau Office St. Maarten (SOAB) in connection with suspicion of ambitious concealment of certain irregular activities and money laundering.

In connection with the investigation, several searches took place. The suspect was detained for 12 days in provisional custody in connection with the investigation.

According to the investigation, purchases were made on the credit card of the VDSM between 2011 and 2013, for which he did not give any explanation. It involved various private purchases such as a gold bracelet at a jeweler in St. Maarten (2012); expensive clothing bought at Schiphol (2012); at a department store in the Netherlands (2012); a BlueRay player (2012 ); a two-person plane ticket to Miami, Florida (2012); a plane ticket and overnight stay for two in St. Kitts; purchase of airline tickets for him and his family to Orlando (2012); and overnight stays at a luxury hotel in Miami (2012). The suspect also made several cash withdrawals in the amount of NAf. 273,000 guilders (2012, 2013).

The Public Prosecutor said, in this case, it was clear that, “crime does not pay.”

The Judge will give his verdict on this case in three weeks, on August 30, 2017 at 9:00am.