Sint Maarten: 50 months in prison for transporting 361,9 kg of cocaine

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A Tortola national was tried by the Sint Maarten court last month.

On the night of July 9 to 10, 2019, the Dutch coast guard saw a Gofast type fast boat with three men on board traveling at an average speed of 20 knots, without light, towards the virgin islands. They decide to proceed with the control of the ship which is then located about fifty miles from Saba.

On the foredeck are discovered fifteen packages containing cocaine for a total weight of 361,9 kg.

The men are arrested and taken into police custody; one of them, a Tortola national, will be placed in pre-trial detention and prosecuted for the illegal transport of narcotic drugs.

In his defense, he told investigators and the judges of Sint Maarten before whom he appeared last month, that he was fishing but that he had lost his equipment due to the agitated state of the sea. Statements which do not convince the police who found no trace of fishing activity on the boat. There is nothing to explain the reasons for a possible fishing trip off Saba while the defendant is domiciled in the Virgin Islands, investigators report.

The defendant also explained that he found the packages at sea and recovered them without knowing their contents.

For the court, the individual is "involved in the transport of a significant amount of cocaine, thus making an important logistical contribution to this harmful trade. The large quantity of cocaine found in an expensive boat indicates that it was linked to a large drug organization. ” And to estimate: "only a dissuasive sanction in the form of a long term prison sentence applies to this behavior". Fifty months in prison (four years and two months) were thus pronounced against the accused.

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