PHILIPSBURG:—Prime Minister William Marlin insisted on Wednesday during the weekly council of ministers press briefing that the French authorities made an illegal arrest on the Dutch side when they arrested the owner of Captain Olivers on the marina he claimed she was busy repairing. Marlin said the “owner” of the marina was arrested on the Dutch side where the marina is located and she was taken to the French Gendarmes, according to Marlin is that the woman who has since been released was arrested because she was conducting repairs on the marina and not meeting the French environmental laws. He made clear that when the owner of Captain Oliver’s wanted to construct the marina he approached the Dutch government and was granted water rights, while the late owner also obtained a business license from the Dutch side and has been paying their taxes ever since then. Marlin said since the arrest the French authorities placed barricades at the entrance of the marina which is also on the Dutch side and he has called on the Prefette to have the barricades removed. Marlin said he wrote a letter to the Prefect which he also sent to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs since the countries, Kingdom and State has an agreement which is not being respected by the French. Marlin said over the years the French did not complain about the marina but over the past few years, they have been trying to take over the marina while using the treaty of Concordia yet they are not respecting the agreement that was signed.
He said that he recently obtained a document from the French Cadaster office which clearly shows that the water rights belong to the Dutch side.
Asked by SMN News if the French authorities ever indicated to the Dutch side their concerns over the lack of control at that marina since it does not have an immigration office or customs there to control what and who enters St. Maarten. Marlin said that point was never brought up by the French but he indicated to the current Minister of Justice that some type of control has to take place at Captain Oliver’s. Asked if he knew that there is a hotel on the French part at Captain Oliver’s and the woman who claims to be the owner of Captain Oliver’s even ventured on French land to install tanks conduct construction without obtaining the relevant permits, Marlin said that is not his jurisdiction and if that happens its none of his business. Asked if he ever check with the department of VROMI who conducted tests in the water at Captain Oliver’s marina and if he is aware of the pollution there, that too Marlin said he did not have that and it’s not a bad idea to look into that, however, he maintains that the arrest on the Dutch side was illegal and the barricades placed there are also illegal. Marlin said that the French have been trying to get a piece of the action but at the quadripartite meeting he signed an agreement. He said they have to discuss the land demarcation. He said during those meetings both authorities have agreed to maintain the status quo until the negotiations are completed. Marlin said the “owner” who was arrested was asked to visit the gendarmerie in French Quarter and the person refused to do so since she was arrested on the Dutch side and taken to the French side and as such she will not cooperate with the French. Marlin said it is regretful that this kind of things is happening which is disturbing the peaceful coexistence between the French and Dutch over the years. Marlin further explained that the French committed a serious offense and he hopes that the Kingdom and the State will take this matter seriously.