Authorities conduct searches related to drug investigation

PHILIPSBURG–A number of searches were carried out on Sunday and Tuesday in connection with the ongoing investigation into the interception at sea of more than 200 kilos of a “drug-like substance” perceived to be cocaine by the Dutch Royal Navy in collaboration with the Caribbean Coast Guard on Saturday.

The searches were conducted on both the Dutch and French sides of the island. The three suspects on board the boat on which the alleged drugs were transported have been detained in restrictive custody. They are D.J.C. from Venezuela, D.O.G.V. from French St. Martin and L.R. from the Dominican Republic. The Prosecutor has prolonged their detention by eight more days.

D.J.C. and D.O.G.V. were led in front of the Judge of Instruction who deemed their arrest lawful. The third suspect L.R. will appear in front of the Judge of Instruction on Wednesday. A fourth suspect in the case has also been heard.

Two house searches in Cay Bay and one in Cole Bay were carried out on Sunday, January 22, in connection with the ongoing investigation. Another two searches were held on the French side at a marina near Marigot and a house in Marigot on Tuesday, January 24. Documents and digital data carriers were seized during the searches.

The investigation code-named “Cucumber” is still in full swing, led by the Prosecutor’s Office in close cooperation with the St. Maarten Police Force, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and the French Gendarmerie.

Source: The Daily Herald