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All-clear at airport after bomb threat, operations resumes, roads reopened

AIRPORT--Police have given the all-clear sign and the bomb threat at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM is over. Airport operations are back to normal as of 2:15pm. Access roads leading to the airport from Simpson Bay Causeway roundabout and from Maho roundabout have been reopened.

Persons traveling today, Friday, should check with their airlines for adjusted flight schedules.

Tourism and Transportation Minister Claret Connor, Police Spokesman Inspector Henson and Airport Representative Clifton “Cliffy” Brown gave an impromptu press conference standing at the causeway roundabout about the situation.

The terminal building and the KLM aircraft to which the threat was directed were searched by various government agencies. Travelers and personnel had to evacuate the terminal building to the parking area in order for the search to take place.

At the press conference, Connor said various protocols had to be followed according to international civil aviation regulations when a bomb threat is made.

The minister was very pleased with the professionalism carried out by all authorities, and every effort was made to limit the inconvenience to travellers, adding that number one was caution and prevention as well as safety of all concerned.

Brown stated things went smoothly as protocols were followed, adding that airport were well trained and prepared for these types of situations.

Friday July 04, 2015 St. Maarten Midday Weather Forcast

rb-lDATE ISSUED:  Friday July 03, 2015 @ 12:00 Lst (16:00 UTC)

VALID UNTIL:  Saturday midday (12:00 Lst) July 04, 2015 


Today through Saturday midday: Fair to partly cloudy, hazy and breezy with a passing shower possible.




Forecast High:   31°C / 88°F          Forecast Low:   27°C / 81°F 

 Sunrise Tomorrow: 5:41 A.M        Sunset Tonight:  6:52 P.M

Today through Saturday midday: Easterly with a moderate to fresh breeze of 13 to 22 miles per hour, with higher gusts.

A strengthening Atlantic high pressure ridge and Saharan dust remain the dominant features across the Region. As a result brisk easterly winds, reduced visibility and no significant precipitation can be expected during this forecast period.

Seas will gradually increase over the next few days, and may become rough over the weekend. Advisories will be issued if necessary. Nevertheless, small craft operators and sea-bathers should exercise caution.

STATE OF THE SEA: Moderate            WAVES/SWELLS: up to 7 feet 


OUTLOOK through Sunday midday: Fair to partly cloudy, hazy and breezy with no significant precipitation.


 The next weather forecast will be issued Today at 18:00 Lst (22:00 UTC).

 For further information visit our website:








Partly Cloudy / Hazy

Partly Cloudy / Hazy

Partly Cloudy / Hazy


31oC / 88oF

31oC / 88oF

31oC / 88oF


27oC / 81oF

26oC / 79oF

26oC / 79oF


05:41 AM

05:41 AM

05:41 AM


06:52 PM

06:52 PM

06:52 PM



Drugs and other items confiscated in search

page1a040PHILIPSBURG--Authorities confiscated drugs and other undisclosed items during a lengthy search at an apartment located opposite Bobby's Marina late Thursday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson told The Daily Herald an investigation had been conducted and arrests made, based on a request from the French judicial authorities. He could not say specifically when or where the arrests had taken place. However, he said this had led to Thursday's house search.

Henson confirmed that several items had been confiscated during the search, but said he could not say what exactly the items were, as this information would not be available to him until today, Friday. This newspaper understands that drugs were amongst the items confiscated. The quantity and type of drugs could not be ascertained.

The search was conducted in the presence of the man who lives in the apartment in question. The man, said to be a Colombian national working at the harbour, is believed to be one of two persons arrested in connection with the investigation.

Speculations were rife regarding the drugs found in the home, a possible link to the man's job at the harbour and whether some form of drug trafficking was involved.

A number of persons were present during the search, including Dutch-side police, French Gendarmes, Dutch-side Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp and Judge of Instruction Mauritz de Kort. The Gendarmes were tight-lipped about details of the operation when approached for comment.

Integrity Chamber back on agenda Kingdom Govt

~ VVD demands AMvRB measure for St. Maarten ~

THE HAGUE--The establishing of the St. Maarten Integrity Chamber is back on the agenda of the Kingdom Council of Ministers. The next meeting is on July 10 and a General Measure of the Kingdom Government ("Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur" AMvRB) is a real option.

Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk did not state specifically during a debate in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Thursday that a decision would be taken regarding St. Maarten at the next Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting, as the agenda of meetings of the Kingdom Government are always confidential.

However, Plasterk confirmed during the debate with the Second Chamber's Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations that there would be one last Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting before the summer recess, next week Friday.

He stopped short of saying that St. Maarten was on the agenda, but made clear that there would be consequences for St. Maarten now that the Dutch Caribbean country had failed to meet the June 30 deadline to approve a national ordinance to establish the Integrity Chamber.

In an invited comment, St. Maarten Justice Minister Dennis Richardson told The Daily Herald via e-mail: "The Council of Ministers is preparing a response to suggested changes to the draft national ordinance on the Integrity Chamber as was done with the proposals of Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams."

Parliament, Richardson added, "will subsequently have to reconvene, debate the matters and establish a national ordinance. I have confidence that Parliament will eventually do this."

The St. Maarten Parliament has not only deferred the handling of the draft ordinance until after the summer recess, but also has proposed amendments to the law, which is against the agreement that the Governments of the Netherlands and St. Maarten signed on May 24.

"The deadline has passed; that is no public secret. We had an agreement which took a long time to materialise because I was convinced that it was much more effective to tackle integrity issues with the support of the local government. But there is an end to everything. No national redress has taken place. Let there be no mistake: St. Maarten will be kept to the agreement," stated Plasterk.

He did not use the term AMvRB as Member of the Second Chamber André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party did. Bosman pointedly asked Plasterk whether the Kingdom Government would impose an AMvRB to ensure that the Integrity Chamber would be established according to the wishes of The Hague.

According to Bosman, there was a "clear agreement" with St. Maarten. That agreement included a timeframe which St. Maarten has failed to stick to, he said.

"In the opinion of the VVD this is again an example of stretching things and failing to live up to agreements. Integrity is a big problem in St. Maarten, the local politicians know that and they are not doing anything about it. I presume that the AMvRB is on the agenda of the upcoming Kingdom Council of Ministers. For the VVD there is no more room for further negotiations," he said. He emphasised that follow-up action had to take place.

Member of Parliament (MP) Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) concurred with Bosman that swift follow-up was required to establish the Integrity Chamber as soon as possible. He concurred with Bosman that the St. Maarten Parliament was "stalling."

Van Raak also wanted to know how far Minister Plasterk was in the process to initiate a criminal investigation into the alleged ties between the underworld and upper world in Curaçao and St. Maarten with special focus on the (illegal) gambling sector. The Second Chamber recently almost unanimously adopted a motion of Van Raak and Bosman calling on the Dutch Government to initiate this investigation, if possible with the assistance of the two countries in question.

Plasterk replied that the matter had his "full attention" and that he was taking the wish of the Dutch Parliament "very seriously." He said it was essential to strengthen the entire law enforcement sector in the Dutch Caribbean countries; otherwise, a so-called waterbed effect could evolve with crime moving to other areas.

"It is a major exercise that requires the support and input of all four countries," said Plasterk, who clarified that the talks were not entirely concluded on this matter. He said "significant investments" were required and it was imperative that the effort stay out of the influence of politics. "We don't want to have a situation where local politics decides that a certain investigation has to be stopped," he said.

Koos Sneek files charges against Clyde van Putten

ST. EUSTATIUS--Island Council member and Director of Norako N.V. Nicolaas "Koos" Sneek of the opposition Democratic Party (DP) of St. Eustatius filed a criminal complaint Tuesday against Island Councilman Clyde van Putten of coalition partner Progressive Labour Party (PLP).

Sneek filed a complaint against Van Putten with Acting Prosecutor Jacques van der Horde in connection with defamation, slander and damage to his reputation.

According to a letter sent by Sneek's attorney to Van Putten, the PLP leader allegedly levelled "evidently incorrect and serious allegations" against Sneek during a meeting of members of the Island Council with members of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT on Friday, June 26.

Van Putten allegedly accused Sneek during this meeting of having defrauded St. Eustatius Housing Foundation out of US $80,000. As a Commissioner, Sneek allegedly also had favoured government contracts with accountancy bureau Baker Tilly because his company Norako is co-owner of this firm.

"These remarks are demonstrably incorrect. My client suffers damages as a consequence of these statements, since he and his company's honour and good reputation have been violated, especially concerning the small scale of Statia's community," Sneek's lawyer Christian de Jong stated.

According to De Jong, the statements against his client were unfounded and "illegitimate." Therefore, the PLP leader will be held liable not only under civil law, but also may face criminal charges of libel and slander.

Sneek's lawyer ordered Van Putten to repeal his statements publicly and in writing in The Daily Herald within five days. In the statement, the PLP leader would have to retract the offending statements and indicate that his remarks made during the meeting with CFT were "factually completely incorrect." He also would have to offer his apologies.

In case of noncompliance, Van Putten may be facing court action, as Sneek may be filing an injunction to enforce rectification of the "illegitimate" statements. Van Putten also may be facing damages, lawyer De Jong stated.

In his written report to the Prosecutor, Sneek said he was a regular victim of allegations during Island Council meetings. Van Putten is indeed known for his blunt criticism of, among others, the DP and its representatives in the Island Council.

The DP leader stated he felt threatened and feared for his life. Sneek said he had overheard a loud conversation between two men in a supermarket on Friday in which he and fellow DP party member Ernie Simmons both were threatened with being shot.

"Simmons would soon be found dead in his house, while I would be buried somewhere in the bushes. Bystanders were reminded that we're both living in rather remote areas," according to Sneek in his statement to the Prosecutor.

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