Harbor Group CEO supports stiffer penalties

POSTED: 09/18/11 11:08 PM

St. Maarten – Chief Executive Officer of the St. Maarten Harbor Group of Companies Mark Mingo has expressed support for plans by Justice Minister Roland Duncan to implement stiffer penalties for crimes against tourists. He also wants more regulations for pawn shops and “cash for gold” businesses.

“We need tighter restrictions and as soon as possible. Sometimes it appears as though it is easily forgotten that all of us make a living from tourism and at the same time, any crime against residents or tourists damages our collective reputation,” Mingo said.

Cruise lines see the higher regulations as a means of protecting passengers. Earlier this year they sought assurances during a meeting with Justice Minister Roland Duncan and Vice Prime Minister Theodore Heyliger, who is Shareholder Representative for the Harbor Group of Companies.

“I understand that some people may ask what about the residents and crime against them. It’s simple! If the cruise passengers stop coming here, we will lose our economic base and then crime will be even more rampant as jobs are lost and shady characters run wild,” Mingo said.

“Higher penalties for crimes against tourists are a precaution for the country in general. We have to be proactive in protecting our economy, which is our livelihood, and the right of all of us to enjoy St. Maarten without fear,” the Harbor Group CEO added.

Mingo’s comments come after a band of thieves robbed Trident Jewelers of a large amount of gold jewelry. The daylight robbery took place on Wednesday when two cruise vessels were docked in Philipsburg.


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