Sint Maarten / Illegal immigration: Fourteen illegal immigrants arrested in Philipsburg

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Last Thursday, around 14:45 pm, a person intrigued by the docking of a suspicious sailboat at the Walter Plantz wharf, in Philipsburg, alerted the police. On arrival, the police patrol found the sailboat "Solitude" which was carrying fourteen people and three crew members.

The captain and the other crew members could not provide valid explanations and the reasons for docking at Sint Maarten, without first having passed through the customs and immigration services.

The three crew members, of Dominican origin, and the fourteen passengers, of Haitian nationality, were arrested and transported to the Philipsburg police station to be placed in police custody and questioned.

The immigration and human trafficking services are in charge of the investigation. The sailboat, which flew the Dominicans flag, had left Dominica a few days before. Investigators are trying to determine whether Sint Maarten was the final destination or whether the docking took place due to unforeseen circumstances. Furthermore, after a thorough search of the ship, the authorities reported that no narcotic product had been found on board. _RM

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