~ Syrian nationals head to court today ~
PHILIPSBURG–Three men from Syria who tried to enter St. Maarten via Princess Juliana International Airport SXM using false documents on Saturday remain in police custody while a thorough investigation is ongoing.
The men are expected to show up in the Court of First Instance today, Tuesday, for the extension of their detention. Police spokesman Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson confirmed that the men are indeed from Syria.
A press statement from Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson via the Press Secretariat on Monday evening said there seemed to be no indications of planned acts of terrorism in St. Maarten. The Police Force of St. Maarten is exchanging information with different international police organizations such as Interpol to establish the suspects’ identities and true nationality.
Concerns of safety and security were displayed on social media on Monday. Thus far there is no indication whether these men are refugees and the police remain tight-lipped about the investigation. According to the police, the suspects arrived at the airport close to 7:30pm on an Insel Air flight originating from Haiti. When they presented their documents, Immigration officials discovered that the travel documents were false.
Head of the Immigration and Border Patrol Udo Aron told The Daily Herald they were looking at the situation very closely and conducting an investigation at this moment. “We do not want people to panic and we hope to conclude this investigation soon,” he stated.
The police are urging members of the community to be vigilant and proceed with caution given the current situation unfolding in France.
The authorities manning critical infrastructures are urged to heighten their security and remain alert for any suspicious activities or persons they may encounter, and to inform the police.
Source: The Daily Herald No known terrorism threat to St. Maarten