Opinion: Contract killingsPOSTED: 06/14/12 1:03 PM
Some time ago, if we remember correctly it was in early 2011, there was a press conference at the public prosecutor’s office there the question was asked it contract killings occurred on St. Maarten. Again, if we remember correctly, the answer was that the office was unaware of this.
But that was 2011, and it was actually just before the violence erupted – first with what we know now as the Regatta-murders, and shortly afterwards the Vesuvius-killings.
Yes, we have known for some time that this was about a war between rivaling drug gangs, and we also have known for quite some time who the major players in this game were: the Jones brothers and their criminal gang on one side, and the Arrindell-brothers and their gang on the other side.
When the Jones-gang wanted to establish its control on the local drugs market, the Arrindells balked. They refused to pay what the prosecutor’s office labeled yesterday as a criminal tax to their rivals in crime.
Then the Jones-gang stepped it up: it stole cocaine from a shipment the Arrindells were receiving at the airport. The recipe for a violent gang war was born, and Hector Miguel Arrindell concocted a plan to liquidate the Jones brothers.
He consulted with Brian Christina – currently detained in Guadeloupe – and with Eric Lake – currently located at a local grave yard – and a plan was formed. Arrindell put something like $20,000 on the table to have Amador Jones murdered. A suitable killer was selected – Omax Bye from the country that gave us Devon Otto – St. Kitts.
It feels a bit like the times of Al Capone have reincarnated in St. Maarten. Twenty grand to kill a member of a rival gang – it’s just unbelievable. Of course, this money was never really paid. We hear that Bye got some of his money, but that the final payment never arrived. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that his principal was murdered in retaliation on May 25 of last year.
After investigators came down on the gangs and put most of the members behind bars – true: awaiting trial – it became quiet on the killing front. The number of murders obviously spiked last year due to the Regatta and the Vesuvius crimes, but this year there seems to be hardly any bad guys left to do the shooting.
That is of course a most welcome development. At the same time, the magnitude of the Vesuvius-case underlines the need for strong and well-organized law enforcement. While we applaud the results we have seen so far, we realize that several issues will quietly disappear out of sight – and they should not.
Let’s pick out one little detail from the case against Akeem D., who stood trial yesterday accused of being an accessory to the Amador Jones murder. The prosecution revealed that the Jones-gang had ripped a cocaine shipment for the rivaling Arrindell-gang at the airport.
This is how we learn that big cocaine shipments apparently arrive unhindered at Princess Juliana International airport. And not only that: after such a shipment arrives, a rivaling party is able to snatch the goods before the “rightful” owner shows up.
What on earth is wrong with the security at the airport? We haven’t heard anybody make an issue of this, but it is about time somebody does. If security at the airport is leaking like a sieve – and when cocaine transports are able to arrive here uninterrupted that is what it does – measures have to be taken. Where are the control mechanism? Who has been bought and benefited in the shadows from the drugs trade?
We’re not going to pose seventy questions about this issue – we’ll leave that to others – but we darn well wish that at least somebody will sound the alarm. If it is that easy for cocaine to get into the country via what is supposedly a respected airport other goods like weapons will probably also find their way through the system over there. and that’s not good. Not good at all..