Police arrest eighteen in human smuggling probePOSTED: 07/21/15 6:59 PM
St. Maarten – Eighteen people were arrested on Sunday and Monday during an unprecedented action led by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in a human trafficking investigation. Twelve of the detainees were victims; they have been handed over to the Immigration and Border Protection Service. The other six are in preventive custody as suspects.
The investigation focuses on a smuggling route from St. Maarten to the US Virgin Islands. Police made arrests at three different locations. House searches took place on two locations. Officers confiscated money, documents and phones.
In March a multidisciplinary team was put together to combat human smuggling and human trafficking. It operates under the responsibility of the police force. Other members are the Immigration and Border Protection Service and the Royal Military Police (Marechaussee).