Published On: Tue, Oct 22nd, 2019

National Detectives arrest two suspects in BEGONIA investigation

Justice Vehicles at MP Christophe Emanuel home - 20191022

~ Emil Lee reacts to news about search of MP Emmanuel House ~

PHILIPSBURG — This morning suspects C.T.E. and M.A.R. were arrested by the National Detectives of Sint Maarten. One of the suspects is Member of Parliament, Christophe Emmanuel, who is a former Minister of VROMI in 2017. The other suspect was Chief of Staff of the VROMI Cabinet during the same governing period.

MP Christophe EmmanuelAfter a lengthy investigation the two were arrested on suspicion of abuse of function and forgery or complicity in such acts, during their tenure at VROMI. The suspects are accused of unlawfully long leasing government land to acquaintances at the end of their tenure in 2017. As a result, other applicants were disadvantaged.

Former Minister of VSA sent a press statement to the media corps on St. Maarten with the heading “Lee Reacts to TBO search of MP Emmanuel House”.

In his press release Lee stated the following: “Recent statements made by blog website www.smn-news.com are factually incorrect. This blog has the habit of printing unsubstantiated statements as if they are factual. The blog states “A complaint was filed by now-ousted Minister Emil Lee against MP Emmanuel while the former acting head of Domain Affairs Raeyhon Peterson had also submitted a file to the Prosecutor’s Office. Emmanuel is a candidate Minister that is currently undergoing the screening process.”

According to Lee this is absolutely not correct. “Emil Lee did not file a complaint against MP Emmanuel with the Prosecutor’s office. It is fake news.” Lee made clear in his release.

This false statement has the potential to cause Emil Lee to become a target both politically and in this election season, possibly even incite violence, according to Lee in his release. “The editors of the blog are requested to correct the article as soon as possible.” Lee ended his press release.

Former Acting Head of Domain Affairs Raeyhon Peterson himself also made a public statement on Facebook in regards to the abovementioned publication wherein he stated the following: “I never sent a file to the Prosecutors office, nor have I filed any complaint whatsoever. Emmanuel was warned when he was Minister that this might happen, because he is crossing the lines of good governance. That’s just Bibi Shaw going at me again. The politricks is still very much in effect.”

Peterson’s reference to the term ‘politricks’ may be in reference to his membership of the new political party called Party for Progress (PFP) registered to contest the upcoming elections on Thursday, January 9, 2020. Postulation Day will be on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

By October 9th, 2019, 11 political parties had registered to contest the January 2020 Parliamentary Elections. These are:

1. National Alliance (NA)
2. United St. Maarten Peoples Party (USP)
3. Democratic Party (DP)
4. United Peoples Party (UPP)
5. St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP)
6. Party for Progress (PFP)
7. St. Maarten Action Movement (SAM)
8. Concordia Political Alliance (CPA)
9. St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM)
10. Peoples Progressive Party (PPA)
11. United Democrats (UD)


Photo caption: Photo taken of the street where vehicles can be seen parked outside the house of MP Christophe Emmanuel.

Related articles:
How former Minister Emmanuel helped his friends to pieces of land
Former Minister Christopher Emmanuel gave out land on the ring road to LOCALS
Opinion piece: “Whataboutism