Afoo offer $20,000 reward for information Police reopens investigation into Eric Yuan Sam murder

POSTED: 05/9/12 2:17 PM

St. Maarten– The police force and the public prosecutor’s office have reopened the investigation into the December 30, 2009 murder of Afoo supermarket manager Eric Yuan Sam. Afoo still offers a $20,000 reward for information that will solve the case.

While the number of murders in 2009 remained limited to 7, the targets of these crimes caused enormous unrest. On May 26, businessman Haresh Dayalani was brutally shot to death in front of his house; on October 2, Casablanca brothel manager David Eustace was gunned down in his car in Oyster pond; on December 12, businessman Jean Claude Busquet was knifed to death when he left his bumper car business in Simpson Bay. And on December 30, Afoo supermarket manager Eric Yuan Sam became the last murder victim of what many experienced as a gruesome year.

At least four men were involved in the robbery at the Afoo supermarket in Dutch Quarter. They entered the store on December 30 around eight o’clock in the evening. The robbers were carrying several firearms. One of the robbers fatally shot Eric Sam.

The police started a large scale investigation. “Many suspects were detained and there have been many house searches,” the police stated in a press release issued yesterday. “But it was not possible to solve the case and towards the end of 2010 the investigation was shelved.”

“Because Eric Yuan Sam’s death caused a big shock and because this is a case many people still remember, the police management has decided after consultation with the public prosecutor’s office to reopen the investigation,” the press release states.

The $20,000 reward the Afoo group made available in early 2010 is still valid.

The police are calling upon the population to help with solving the crime. “During the robbery there were many customers in the supermarket. They have seen the perpetrators and they may have heard them speak. They must have information that can help the police to identify them,” the press release states.

The police released stills from video-footage taken from the supermarket’s security cameras that show four men. One of them is wearing a rather recognizable helmet; the others are masked and have a hoody pulled over their head.

The pictures have been released “so that everyone who was not present in the supermarket is able to see if they recognize one or more of them.”

After the robbery the four men fled through an alley to the left of the supermarket and through the bushes behind the store. Several neighborhood residents have seen this, the police stated.

The police opened a special hotline for the investigation, under the number 553 15 22.

The police are asking anyone who has information to call this number under guarantee of confidentiality.

“Maybe your information will lead to the solution in this case. Eric Yuan Sam was loved very much in Dutch quarter and its vicinity. He helped everyone who needed help. His death must not remain unsolved. Help the police with this investigation, the way Eric Yuan Sam helped people so often during his life,” the release states.

So far the murders of Haresh Dayalani and David Eustace have not been solved either. The five youngsters who were involved in the death of Jean Claude Busquet were brought to trial and sentenced to jail terms from 7 to 15 years.

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