16 years asked for robbers

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has asked the court to sentence suspects F.J. (27) and V.E.B. (27) to 16 years in prison for a number of robberies.

The FLUORIET investigation stems from a cluster of separate investigations. These are namely: TURMALIIJN – robbery at Beach Plaza Casino on February 13th, 2017 CASTORIET 1 and 2 – victim M.E.M. robbed on November 16th and December 25th, 2017 ZINKIET – R.B.M robbed on December 1st, 2017 CELESTIET – threat and extortion of victims I.C. and E.M.P. on December 14th, 2017 DROOMKWARTS – robbery at Leonard Enterprises on January 8th, 2018 DUBBELSPAAT – victim T.M.J. robbed on January 18th, 2018 ELDORIET – attempted robbery at Popular Express on January 20th, 2018 HOME INVASION – break-in at the home of victim W.H. on January 21st, 2018

Suspects F.J. and V.E.B. equally committed these robberies and have been in pre-trial detention since the beginning of this year. Both suspects are also suspected of having been in possession of firearms during the period of February 2017 to January 2018.

V.E.B. is also a suspect in the POSBANK investigation. V.E.B. is suspected of shooting suspect J.G. The Public Prosecutor asked that V.E.B. be convicted of assault with a weapon for risking seriously injuring suspect J.G, although suspect was not hit by a bullet.

“In a relatively short period of time, several armed robberies were committed by these suspects. The suspects were only looking for personal financial gain and did not care about their victims. A lot of violence was used in the robberies and there were always firearms in the game.

“For example, a house robbery took place while a 6-year-old child was present and a firearm was aimed at an elderly woman. These kinds of attacks causes feelings of insecurity among the population of St. Maarten.

“In view of the nature and seriousness of the criminal offences, and also the number of criminal offences, only a substantial, long-term prison sentence would be appropriate. St. Maarten’s society must be protected from these suspects for a long time,” said the Public Prosecutor.