PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the Court in First Instance of Sint Maarten dealt with the criminal case lodged by the Public Prosecutor’s Office against Ms. M. Z. Da Silva, a bus driver, who was charged with violating the Landsverordening Personenvervoer by willfully permitting a third party to operate a bus with license plates belonging to Ms. M.Z.D.S.
On December 4, 2020, the accused was issued a fine by a TEATT inspector for not complying with the conditions stipulated in her permit, which permit was issued to her by the Ministry of TEATT. The accused was proposed a transaction by the Public Prosecutor’s Office entailing payment of the amount of NAf. 500,-. In the event payment would not occur before the established deadline, the case would be brought to Court in order for the matter to be handled and decided upon by the Judge.
The accused was not in agreement with the issued fine and consulted a specialized lawyer in Criminal Law, Ms. Safira Ibrahim at The LawFirm office for her defense.
On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the case was handled in Court, whereby the Judge rendered a verdict after she closed the investigation.
According to the Judge, the permit itself is bound to the person of the applicant and therefore, cannot – and may not – be lend out to and be used by third parties. However, the permit does not stipulate that the aforementioned also applies to lending out and using license plates by third parties, which has been stressed by the Judge, and therefore, cannot be considered to be a violation.
Based on the findings in the file, the accused was fully acquitted.
It should be noted that the TEATT inspectors should be updated with the local regulations and trained as to avoid these mishaps.