Sinking of an illegal boat: sentences of one to four years in prison required

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In the night of June 30 to 1er July 2013, a boat of Saintoise type with a capacity maximum of nine passengers, sinks between Saint-Martin and Anguilla with on board at least twenty-three people.

Three lifeless bodies are recovered, six people are missing - to date they have still not been found - and fourteen are rescued. Most of the passengers are stowaways from Brazil and the Dominican Republic. They joined Saint-Martin to take a boat which was to take them to St Thomas in the virgin islands from where they were to reach the United States. They had arrived at Juliana airport a few days earlier and had been lodged in hotels pending the scheduled departure on June 30 from Baie Rouge beach.

The investigation revealed the existence of two channels - one Brazilian, the other Dominican - led by two different people. Six people are being prosecuted in this case all or in part for having endangered the lives of others, manslaughter, non-assistance to a person in danger and assistance in entering the territory of foreigners. A seventh person was ultimately not tried because he had not received a summons as required by the procedure.

Only three appeared at the hearing which took place Thursday, December 20 in Saint-Martin.

The deputy prosecutor requested sentences ranging from one to four years in prison or suspended. Two arrest warrants were requested. The judgment was reserved for January 24. (more details on www.soualigapost.com)

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