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Arrest and Ongoing Investigation in Connection with Serious Assault Incident in Cole-Bay.

PHILIPSBURG:--- In connection with the serious assault incident that occurred on August 18th, 2023, in the Cole Bay area, where a victim was severely injured with a machete and involving more than one suspect, the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) is providing an update on the ongoing investigation.

On the day of the incident, the suspect, identified as J.S.H., was arrested by personnel of the Detective Department. The first suspect was subsequently, transported to the police station, where he was held pending further investigation. After being arraigned J.S.H. was questioned by personnel from the Major Crimes team.

Later in the day, a search was conducted at the suspect's residence, under the supervision of the investigative judge. During this operation, several items of interest were seized by the investigating officers.

As of the latest update, the suspect, J.S.H., remains in police custody as the investigation continues to gather crucial evidence and information related to the case. While substantial progress has been made with the arrest of the second suspect with the initials J.L.S.F involved in this incident, the Major Crimes team is continuing actively to seek assistance from the public.

We urge anyone who possesses knowledge or information related to this incident to come forward and aid in our ongoing investigation. Your cooperation is invaluable in helping us resolve this matter effectively.

Please contact the KPSM's Major Crimes Department at +1 721 542 2222, extension 208, 223, or 214, to share any relevant information you may have. Additionally, you can choose to provide anonymous tips by calling the dedicated tip line at 9300.

The Sint Maarten Police Force expresses its gratitude to the community for their continued support and cooperation as we work tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of our beloved island.


KPSM Press Release.

Alarming amounts of single-use plastics collected during ICC 2023.

coastalcleanup20092023PHILIPSBURG:--- On Saturday, September 16th, more than 100 volunteers attended this year’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) at Little Bay Beach & Pond, near Belair, hosted by Environmental Protection in the Caribbean Sint Maarten (EPIC) and the St. Maarten Pride Foundation, in collaboration with the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF). A little over 2000 pounds of trash was collected, of which 763.4 lbs were glass and plastic bottles (~40%). This was excluding heavy construction material also found during the cleanup, which was sadly found in large amounts littered throughout the mangroves and trees.

Many community groups, businesses, and students from various schools supported by volunteering for the cleanup such as: Hillside Belair Foundation, St. Dominic School, Learning Unlimited, Interact Club, St. Maarten Academy, Milton Peters College, KI Britannia, St. Maarten Down Syndrome Foundation, Kiwanis Builders Club, South Reward Community Collective, staff members of the Ministry of VROMI as well as many other individuals. Many families also joined, getting a lot of their kids involved in the clean up initiative. The participants partook in groups that were eligible for prizes, the winning team under age 16 will receive tickets to Caribbean Cinemas, and the winning team aged 16 and above will receive vouchers to the Dutch Blonde Bar's Escape Room. The grand prize, a meal from La Chingona, will go to the volunteer whose guess came the closest to the total pounds of trash collected during the cleanup. This added an element of friendly competition and anticipation to the event, highlighting the community's commitment to both environmental conservation and camaraderie. The winners will be made known soon via our social media channels.

By utilizing the Clean Swell App (through the Ocean Conservancy), volunteers meticulously documented their findings, providing crucial insights into the nature of pollution. The data revealed a stark reality: the most prevalent items collected during the cleanup were plastic bottles, glass bottles, and Styrofoam pieces/containers. These figures emphasize the pressing need to address the issue of single-use plastics and Styrofoam on the island. Massive amounts of plastic bottles were found hidden amongst the mangroves surrounding Little Bay Pond. “I cleaned up here last year and it’s disheartening to still see so many littered bottles” various volunteers commented, who ventured knee-deep into the pond to pull out litter and debris.

Riddhi Samtani, who organized the cleanup on behalf of PRIDE & EPIC, stated her concerns. “This is the third consecutive year that we’ve organized the ICC at this location. While we are encouraged by the community's enthusiasm and the significant amount of trash collected, it is disheartening to witness no reduction in littering.”

The International Coastal Cleanup event highlights the commitment of the community but also underscores the immediate need for collective action to combat plastic and Styrofoam pollution on the island, and littering as a whole. It serves as a strong call to action for individuals, businesses, and policymakers to work together to implement sustainable solutions, reduce the use of single-use plastics, and protect St. Maarten's coastal beauty and well-being. This made the partnership for this year’s ICC with SMDF impactful as they are currently executing “Plastic Free SXM", on behalf of the Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK). Plastic Free SXM is an initiative supported by RESEMBID and financed through Expertise France with the goal of facilitating the transition away from single-use plastics and polystyrene foam products on Sint Maarten, to reduce the negative environmental and health impacts and promote sustainable practices to the general public.

"Community cleanups offer a serious reality check on the types of trash that end up in our natural spaces and should serve as a wake-up call for every resident to take personal responsibility in combating pollution, littering, and reducing plastic waste," says Program and Development Manager of SMDF Melanie Choisy.

The International Coastal Cleanup, an initiative by the Ocean Conservancy happens annually on a global scale. Going back to 1986, the Ocean Conservancy estimates that 350 million pounds of trash has been removed from global beaches and waterways since the event began. Sint Maarten has been participating in the International Coastal Cleanup annually for over 20 years.

The cleanup builds on EPIC’s “Why do we litter? – Sint Maarten” project funded by R4CR. During the cleanup, volunteers collected valuable data to identify littering challenges in various neighborhoods in Sint Maarten. With this data, EPIC formulated a data report with recommendations that is publicly available online.

For more information about EPIC’s work visit:, and EPIC’s Facebook page:

October 11th, 2023, Deadline for Application Registration (New) Political Parties.

electoralcouncil19092023PHILIPSBURG:--- The Electoral Council hereby wishes to announce the following to prospective political parties that are not registered at the Electoral Council and are desirous of participating in the upcoming elections on January 11, 2024.

In view of the fact that the nomination date has been set for 22 November 2023, (new) political parties that are not registered at the Electoral Council must submit a written application to register with the Electoral Council no later than Wednesday, October 11th, 2023.
Together with the application for registration of the political party, the following documents must be submitted:
1. Notarial deed containing the Articles of Association of the party;
2. Excerpt from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
3. Statement containing the appointment of the party’s authorized representative and authorized deputy representative to the Electoral Council;
4. Application for registration of the reference, which is to be placed above the list of candidates.
Any party that lost its reference and wishes to re-apply for its reference to be placed above its list can do so before the deadline on Wednesday, October 11, 2023. This is also required for a party wishing to apply for a change of its reference above its list.
Failure to apply for party registration by the deadline will result in the party not being able to contest the upcoming elections.
The office hours of the Electoral Council are:
Monday - Friday: from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on the National Ordinance on Registration and Finances of Political
Parties, please contact the Electoral Council at 522 5154 call or 543 9888, or send an email to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website of the Electoral Council:

PJIAE N.V. Announces Tender for Landside Concessions.

tenderpjiae10092023SIMPSON BAY:---  Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) today announced the tender for landside concessions. This next phase, which covers the concessions in the Check-in and Arrival area of the terminal, provides local - and international businesses with an opportunity to be part of a comprehensive upgrade to enhance the passenger’s experience. PJIAE, via this tender, extends an invitation to qualified and experienced companies and brands to submit proposals for the operation of various concession spaces on the landside of its state-of-the-art airport terminal. 

Key dates 

The new RFPs for this concession program, which is being publicly tendered, will run from September 19th, 2023, until October 19th, 2023. The RFP documents are available, based on interest, on PJIA’s website Upon receipt of the expression of interest, the requested document will be provided within 48 hours.  

A vision for the future 

As we step into the future, PJIA commits itself to be a beacon of world-class service, a catalyst for economic development, and an inspiration for the whole region. Based on this vision, it has developed an ambitious concession program. The new and state-of-the-art terminal will include modern facilities. There will be 23 concessions on the airside (Departure Hall) and 9 on the landside (Check-in and Arrival Hall) including a wide array of local and international food & beverage concessions, duty-free-shops offering a diverse selection of luxury goods and locally inspired products and services to give an authentic experience of St. Maarten from arrivals until departures. With this new RFP, we aim to expand our current concessions with more options including a healthy store and a coffee 

First shoulder replacement surgery performed at SMMC.

shoulderreplacement19092023CAY HILL:--- Frank Boekhout, a patient at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), was the recipient of the first (reverse) shoulder replacement surgery performed on the island. The surgery lasted 90 minutes and was performed by Dr. Ron Onstenk and the Orthopedics and Operating Room teams.
Dr. Onstenk is part of a group of eight rotating orthopedic surgeons from Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda, The Netherlands, who have worked at SMMC since the opening of the Orthopedics Clinic in 2020. Each surgeon has their own subspecialty such as hip, knee, spine, and upper extremity, which has allowed SMMC to expand the Orthopedic services offered to patients. Since the start of the clinic and the expansion of the operating facilities with two brand new class 1 operating theaters and the upgrade of the existing operating theaters, SMMC has also been able to perform total hip and total knee replacements, having them recover close to home, limiting the need to travel and stay abroad for extended periods.
The main goal of a total shoulder replacement is to provide less or no pain after surgery and regain full function of the shoulder. In a standard shoulder replacement procedure, a metal ball is attached to the upper part of the humerus (arm bone), and a plastic socket is attached to the shoulder blade, following a patient’s real anatomy. In a reverse shoulder replacement, the metal ball is placed on the socket side of the joint and the socket is placed on the arm side where it is supported by a metal stem in the humerus. While most patients will receive standard total shoulder replacements, reverse total shoulder replacements tend to work better for patients with injuries such as rotator cuff injuries.
Speaking on the addition of total shoulder replacement surgeries at SMMC, Dr. Onstenk said “We see a large number of patients with shoulder problems such as tendinitis and osteoarthritis at our clinic on St. Maarten. For patients with osteoarthritis or severe fractures and breaks, shoulder replacement is a viable option if physical therapy and painkillers are no longer suitable for managing the pain. This type of surgery has gained popularity due to its excellent results after many years of development and innovations such as the “reverse” shoulder replacement that we recently performed. I am happy to be a part of SMMC’s ambition to continuously expand the medical care offered to patients on St. Maarten and surrounding islands”.
SMMC congratulates the Orthopedics team, the Operating Room team, and all other teams involved in the performing of this successful surgery. The patient, Mr. Boekhout, was very pleased with the results of his surgery and the care he received at SMMC, and his post-operation results were favorable. He will undergo physical therapy for three months and is expected to regain the full function of his shoulder.

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