Robbery suspects extradited to French side on Thursday

MARIGOT–Two thirty-year-old citizens of St. Maarten, known to the Dutch-side justice system for aggravated thefts, were handed over to French-side justice by Dutch-side law enforcement on Thursday based on an extradition request and international arrest warrant issued by the investigating judge in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, the French-side Prosecutor’s Office disclosed.

The suspects are part of a six-member gang that attacked and robbed the high-end jewellery store “Jewels by Love” on Rue Général de Gaulle on June 28, 2017.
The masked and armed robbers forced their way into the store by smashing the entrance door with a hammer, then smashed glass showcases to steal 1.7 million euros worth of luxury watches. They made their escape via Bellevue and onto the Dutch side on three powerful scooters without licence plates. A falsely-registered Suzuki Vitara jeep that was used to block the street during the robbery was found abandoned.

Thanks to police cooperation with St. Maarten and thorough investigation work by the Gendarmerie’s detective section Brigades de Recherches, three persons suspected of having participated in these acts were quickly identified in St. Maarten. They were subjects of a request for provisional arrest and then a request for extradition to be heard by the investigating judge.

The suspects were presented before the investigating magistrate on Thursday and indicted on three counts of aggravated theft, absence of or illegally-registered licence plates, concealment of theft, and possession of a category B weapon. They were placed in pre-trial detention in Basse-Terre.

The Prosecutor’s Office once again underlined the very good police and judicial cooperation between the two sides of the island to combat cross-border crime.

Source: The Daily Herald