Deal with stolen liquor costs buyer dearlyPOSTED: 08/30/12 1:02 PM
St. Maarten – Basil Germain W. claimed he was babysitting at home and that he knew nothing about a theft of $8,500 worth of booze from the truck he drives for the International Liquor and Tobacco Company ILLTC. The evidence seems stacked against the defendant though, and prosecutor Dounia Benammar demanded a 3 month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation against him, plus 120 hours of community service. Judge mr. Tamara Tijhuis will pronounce her verdict on September 19.
Prosecutor Benammar has absolutely no doubts that the defendant was involved in the theft. The booze was offered to a Mr. Mo, the owner of the Plaza China supermarket. Mo told investigators later that he thought there was something wrong about the offer he got to buy the goods for a mere $5,000, but he admitted that it was too attractive to refuse.
On May 21, W. and Mo had several phone contacts, but in court the defendant claimed that he did not know the supermarket owner. But Mo had identified the man who offered him the deal as a young man with a birthmark on the left side of his face, and later he recognized the defendant from pictures.
The company had little trouble finding back its beverages because the trucks tracking system indicated that it had stopped on May 21 at the warehouse that belongs to Mo.
The supermarket owner got off with a conditional dismissal. He paid a 500 guilders fine and forfeited the goods for which he had paid $5,000.
Attorney Shaira Bommel considered the proof against her client unreliable and asked the court for an acquittal.