Acting Director August Emmanuel stripped.
PHILIPSBURG:--- The civil case the IND director Udo Aron brought against the Minister of Justice Edison Kirindongo to reinstate him to his job was heard in court on Wednesday. According to information SMN News received, Aron was not heard by the National Detectives since the Attorney General ordered the investigation that the Minister of Justice on St Maarten requested. When the Minister of Justice was informed that the investigation would take place he suspended Aron. However, at the time Aron kept the vehicle and telephone he obtained from the government but later turned over the vehicle back to the Ministry when he was asked to return the vehicle.
SMN News learnt that Aron felt that he was sent home and was never heard, the only thing he was asked was to provide a report on the incident that took place on May 5th, 2016 at PJIAE when he brought in a woman from the Dominican Republic who did not have a visa to enter St. Maarten.
According to sources close to Aron said that even though Aron was suspended pending an investigation into the incident that took place on May 5th, 2016, he was never heard by the National Detectives, thus he decided to challenge the Minister of Justice through the courts to reinstate him back to his position.
SMN News learned that the woman was denied a visa by the Dutch consulate in the Dominican Republic but Aron granted her a visa waiver to enter the country. He also traveled with the woman on the same Insel Air flight back to St. Maarten when an immigration officer refused to stamp the woman passport, Aron then decided to walk the woman through even though she was not processed by immigration.
However, during the handling of the civil hearing on Wednesday, a prosecutor was present and it was in court that Aron was handed a letter informing him that he was fired. Minister of Justice Edison Kirindongo confirmed that Aron was given the letter in court to inform him that he was officially fired, the Minister also confirmed that the offices of IND were searched by the National Detectives.
SMN News further learned that after the case was handled, a team of detectives rushed to the home and office of the suspended IND Director and conducted a house search.
The spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office Gino Bernadina was asked by SMN News why did the National Detectives take this long to act on the case, why they did not hear the suspect and why did they wait until after the civil hearing to present Aaron with a set of documents and also searched his home. Bernadina promised to provide the information as soon as he obtained it.
In the meantime the acting director August Emmanuel was stripped of his position as Acting Director of IND who was at PJIAE when Aron committed the act, SMN News learnt that Emmanuel got upset when Richard Panneflec was appointed Acting Director of IND and refused to respect or accept the Minister's decision. A well-placed source stated that Emmanuel went to the Minister and told him that he better make the situation clear because he is in possession of a Ministerial Beschikking to replace Aron whenever he is not on the job.
Based on those statements, the SMN News learnt that the Minister was forced to revoke the MB Emmanuel had in order to make Richard Panneflec the Acting Director of IND. SMN News further learnt that August Emmanuel has since reported sick and is not working ever since his MB was revoked.
In a press release from the Prosecutor's Office it states the following:--
House search in '“ROBALO” investigation
In connection with the criminal investigation code name “ROBALO”, a house search was carried out on Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 at the home of the (suspended) Director of Immigration, U.G.A. (55) and in the offices of the Immigration and Border Protection Service. The search was led by the Judge of Instruction and a Prosecutor. Important documents, digital data carriers and telephone(s) were confiscated.
This investigation started in May 2016 under the authority of the Prosecutor's Office and is being carried out by the National Detective Agency (Landsrecherche). U.G.A. is suspected of human smuggling committed on the 5th of May 2016 and other criminal offenses related thereto. No arrests have been made in this investigation. The investigation is in full swing, so possible arrests cannot be ruled out.