De Witte paints rosy picture of police crime fighting capabilities

POSTED: 10/11/12 3:05 PM

St. Maarten – “In 2011 to 2012 practically all of the homicides committed on the island were solved. This is accomplishment the whole police force can be proud of,” Chief Commissioner of Police Peter de Witte said yesterday to resounding applause from more than 250 law enforcement officials gathered at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

De Witte was speaking at the church service to mark the second anniversary of the St. Maarten police force.

While he preceded the abovementioned statement by highlighting the hard work that local officials put into securing a solid confession and capturing three suspects in the King murders committed last month in Cupecoy, de Witte was not entirely correct according to this newspaper’s records.

Records kept by Today show that there are seven unsolved homicides for 2011. These are the murders of Sheldon Thomas (found on the old Cake House Road on August 19), Emilio De Leon Reyes (shot at his home in Dutch Quarter on March 4), Anthony Whyte (shot at his home in Dutch Quarter on September 18), Mark Deygoo (shot in his store on Front street on September 21), Michael Grainville (found dead near the Platinum Room in Maho on October 9), Michael Sepelon (found dead near El Capitan in Sucker Garden) and Louis Cuevas (found dead on December 26).

The killers of Ludovic Guillevin (February 25), Eduardo Nova-Valdez (March 4) and Foidel Luis (March 5) have been sentenced to 30 years; some of the suspects (but not all) for the murders of Amador Jones (April 16), Hector Miguel Arrindell (May 25), Rodolfo Arrindell (July 7), Eric lake and Kevin Gumbs (August 17), may appear in court during the Vesuvius trial that begins on Monday. However, all these cases can be considered solved from an investigative point of view. Whether this is also true for the murders of Sheldon Thomas (August 19) is unclear. The Anthony Whyte is most likely linked to the Vesuvius case, because the victim is listed as a member of the gang of Omar J.

De Witte added that the development of the institution would not have been possible without the commitment of officers who had served under the previous Netherlands Antilles constellation and that everyone should be extremely proud of the accomplishments.

“We need police there is no dispute about it but the police can exist without training. We should be extremely proud of the goals that we have achieved thus far. But we have much bigger challenges ahead for 2013 and 2014.”


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