Lottery manager learns fate April 18

POSTED: 03/29/12 2:36 PM

St. Maarten – Manager of the St. Maarten branch of Robbie’s Lottery J.D.C will find out on April 18 whether Judge Monique Keppels agrees with the public prosecutor that he is guilty of illegal gun possession. Curacao based attorney Af Sulvaran argues that the whole case should be thrown out because the weapon was found in illegally conducted search. St. Maarten based attorney Jairo Bloem argues that while C. was aware that the gun was in his office, he’s never and would never have used it.

C. says that the weapon and ammunition were kept in an envelope in his office but he chose not to report it because he wanted to keep his job and provide for his wife and five children who live in Aruba.
“I had just started working and I don’t know that I should have said something. I didn’t think it was the best economic choice to file a report about the gun. I’ve never used a gun. I’m just an employee and I see no need to own or fire a weapon. I know you need to have a license to carry a firearm, but the gun is not mine so I did not request a license,” C. told the court.
Sulvaran then argued that the weapon had been found during an illegally search that is connected with an investigation into unusual financial transactions and money laundering against Curacao based man Robbie dos Santos who owns Robbie’s Lottery. The breach in law is the fact that case file did not include a request from the Tax Inspectorate for the public prosecutor to conduct the investigation.
“The way this was done is not in line with the law. There is no authorization for an investigation. Where is the decision from the Tax Inspectorate for a search to be carried out? You can’t use illegally acquired evidence in a trial,” Sulvaran said.

Bloem pointed out that the public prosecutor had never responded to his request to do a test that would prove whether his client had used the weapon. He also described C. as a community minded, exemplary figure who is a calm father of five.
“He doesn’t want to be punished for something that has nothing to do with him,” the defense attorney said.

Bloem also asserted that the public prosecutor had not proven that there was indeed criminal possession of weapon as they had not proven a relationship between the weapon and his client and that he had any say over the weapon, where it is placed and how it was or was not used.
The prosecutor did not agree with either attorney and said, “There was a legal basis for the search. He chose to do nothing for 15 months even though he knew there was a weapon. He had options to get rid of it, but he let the weapon stay there and so he committed an offense.”

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