Letter circulating on social media about immigration raids is false | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–A letter that has been circulating on social media about immigration raids being conducted in the country starting today is false, police spokesperson Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson said in a press release on Thursday. 


Henson said the false statement began circulating Wednesday evening, August 22, and continued on Thursday, August 23.

“This statement is stating falsely that it is coming from the desk of the Minister of Justice, and it is outlining that joint immigration controls will be conducted throughout the island [country – Ed.],” Henson said in the release. “This statement is false, malicious and is labelled as fake news. At no time did the Ministry of Justice nor the Police Force, Immigration and Border Protection Services, Customs Department or VKS release such a statement regarding immigration controls.”

Henson said Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever is aware of the situation and said it should be ignored. The police are looking into the matter to locate the origin of the statement and the person(s) responsible for “maliciously” spreading this false information, Henson said.

The false letter stated that Immigration and Border Protection Services in collaboration with a number of justice agencies will be conducting joint immigration controls in the various districts such as the Simpson Bay strip and Philipsburg areas of high tourist concentration. It stated that the controls will mainly target, but will not be limited to restaurants, construction sites, beaches and snack bars.

“The controls are set to commence over this weekend Friday, August 24, and last into September. The concerted effort is aimed at reducing the ballooning figures of undocumented immigrants originating mainly from Caribbean islands, South American countries, Serbia, Romania and other European countries, that have illegally gained access to the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma seeking employment,” the false statement read.

“Random checks will be executed in the form of ‘sting operations’ that will utilise plain clothes customs, police, VKS and Immigration Officers so that arrests can be made discreetly without incident or disruption to normal order. Establishment owners will be fined a minimum of NAf. 10,000 per undocumented/illegal immigrant arrested within their establishment.

“The general public is advised to always be in possession of valid identification to justify their legal, labour and residence status on the island or face arrest until their status can be justified,” the concocted statement concluded.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/79882-letter-circulating-on-social-media-about-immigration-raids-is-false