Saban bank card fraud goes to trial this year

POSTED: 10/9/12 1:00 PM

St. Maarten – In the beginning of August, attorney mr. Geert Hatzmann filed a request with the Common Court of Justice on behalf of Judella Heyliger to order the prosecution of someone who defrauded his client out of $4,000. Last week Thursday the case was on the docket, but mr. Hatzmann withdrew his request after Solicitor-General Taco Stein promised to prosecute the suspect in the case before the end of this year.

The crime at the heart of this case was committed in August of last year. Heyliger traveled with her seriously ill mother from Saba to St. Maarten for medical treatment, accompanied by what she considered a trusted family friend.
Somehow, this friend got her hands on the mother’s bank card and the accompanying pin code. Via ATMs in St. Maarten and Saba she stole between $4,000 and $5,000.
“I found out that the money was missing in the beginning of September,” Judella Heyliger told this newspaper in June. “I filed a report with the police in Saba and they started an investigation. They told me that it would take some time to get information from the bank, and things were progressing slowly.”
Heyliger also met with the public prosecutor for the BES-islands, Marleen Overmeer, after the police handed her the case last February. “The theft took partially place in Saba and partially in St. Maarten,” Heyliger said. “I had good hopes that this would be resolved, but no-one ever contacted me. I had to call myself all the time to find out what was going on. Then the prosecutor decided to send the case to St. Maarten; that was okay with me.”
But since the case arrived at the prosecutor’s office in Philipsburg, Heyliger has not noticed any developments at all. In the end she hired Hatzmann as her attorney in an attempt to push things forward.
Heyliger says that the family friend even took money out with her mother’s bank card on the day of her funeral.

When Hatzmann brought up the case with the prosecutor’s office – and in the end
took his story to the media, the response was not positive. The police have more investigations to do and Hatzmann’s client just had to wait until her investigation was completed.
Hatzmann was not pleased with that reaction and said that it would work to the suspect’s advantage if it takes a long time to bring the case to trial.

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