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


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

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