Another immigration officer detained for human smuggling

GREAT BAY – Last Thursday members of the unit human trafficking and human smuggling of the police force arrested yet another employee of the immigration services in the so-called Ostrich investigation. With the arrest of 33-year-old D.M.M. there are now six suspects in this case that focuses on facilitating illegal access to St. Maarten for people from Jamaica, Guyana and Haiti.
M. is suspected of passive bribery and human smuggling. The Judge of Instruction ruled her arrest on Friday legitimate; her custody was extended by eight days.
The investigation into this smuggling ring began in April of last year. The first arrest was on November 14, when investigators arrested J.M. and her partner D.F., who was later released though he remains a suspect.
On January 17, two more immigration employees, K.L.M.B. and A.A.D. were arrested.
With the arrest of D.M.M. there are now four employees of the immigration services behind bars.
On February 22 investigators arrested attorney Brenda Brooks in connection with this investigation on suspicion of bribery and human smuggling. Brooks was released from custody for health reasons.
It is not the first time that immigration officers are in the crosshairs of a human smuggling investigation. In April 2007, three female immigration officers were sentenced in the Court in First Instance for similar charges. They had accepted gifts from Delio H. to facilitate the entry into the country of people from China and the Dominican Republic who were not in the possession of valid papers. And while the court threw out the human smuggling charges, because the summons against the defendants were not specific enough, it did punish the immigration officers for neglect of duty and for accepting bribes “In the context of the illegal immigration-issue, which is of serious proportion on St. Maarten, the actions of the suspects are shocking,” the court ruled at the time.

Source: TODAY