Published On: Tue, Feb 18th, 2020

TBO raided Sherrif Security headquarters in RUBY investigation

Sherrif Security Office - 20200218 AB

PHILIPSBURG — On the morning of Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the Sherrif Security building headquarters was raided and searched by members of the TBO, the Anti-Corruption Taskforce and other law enforcement agencies.

According to a press release put out the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the business premises of the company and various archive storage areas were searched under the supervision of a judge of instruction. No arrests were made, the release stated.

When stmaartennews.com visited the company building to speak with Yolanda Sprott, the manager of Sherrif Security, we were told by a member of the investigating team that we will not be able to speak with her until Wednesday. He said that the building is on lockdown and as a result no one is allowed in or out.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the searches were carried out in relation to an extensive criminal investigation codenamed “Ruby”. This investigation began in July 2018 and concentrates on the phenomenon of – alleged – bid rigging regarding contracts related to waste processing on St. Maarten. The Ruby investigation mainly focuses on the suspicion of administrative corruption, in particular the acceptance of bribes and the misuse of public funds for personal purposes, according to the press release.

The company and its management are currently not considered as suspects in the investigation.” – According to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Sherrif Security Parkinglot & Garage - 20200218 AB

The release further stated that the company which is the subject of the search – and its management – are currently not considered as suspects in the investigation. Based on strong indications that information relevant to the investigation was available within the company, the Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a written demand to the company’s management for disclosure of such information. This totok place last year 2019. Although the company has been given ample time, this demand was – presumably intentionally – not complied with in a satisfactory manner. This is one of the reasons why the Public Prosecutor’s Office requested permission from the judge of instruction to search the business premises and archive storage areas: to seize the relevant information.

According to an elaboration in the press release, it is important to emphasize that the level of compliance with a demand from the Public Prosecutor’s Office is not without obligation or at the sole discretion of the addressed party. On the contrary: it is legally required to comply fully. Failure to sufficiently cooperate with the judicial authorities could result in a serious impediment to a criminal investigation. The consequences should not be underestimated: such party accepts the risk of being subject to an unannounced search by the investigation services to secure the requested information. In addition to this, refusal to comply with such judicial demand can be qualified as nonobservance of an official order. This is a criminal offense.

TBO is a project-based collaboration between designated units of the criminal investigation cooperation team (RST) and the Attorney General’s Office of Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. TBO focuses on a specialized approach to combat corruption and undermining financial and economic crime. Additionally, the team investigates fraud, forgery and money laundering.

It is important for a well-functioning democratic society that citizens have confidence in the public administration. Administrative corruption is a multi-faceted phenomenon that occurs typically when public and private interests converge. Corruption undermines the integrity of the government and leads to unfair commercial competition. For this reason, TBO takes indications of corruption very serious and, if necessary, conducts in-depth investigations.

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Caption first photo: The Sherrif Security building which was searched by members of the TBO and other law enforcement agencies on Tuesday morning.

Caption second photo: The parking and repair shop of the Sherrif Security company on the Coralita Road.

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TRAFFIC ACCIDENT ON CORALITA ROAD

PHILIPSBURG — In an unrelated incident, just last month, January 16, 2020, a Sherrif Security vehicle was involved in a traffic accident on the Coralita Road as a company truck was turning into the parking area where the company’s garage and repair shop is located.

According to a report issued by the traffic department of the police force, a man was riding on a scooter on the Coralita Road in the direction of Saunders. While overtaking a number of cars on the Coralita Road (as can be seen in the company’s security video footage above), the rider lost control of scooter and collided with a Sherrif Security vehicle which was turning off the road into the company’s premises.

As a result of the collision the rider of the scooter suffered head injuries and contusions to his body. He was treated at the scene by the personnel of the ambulance and transported to the St. Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. The rider at the time of the accident was not wearing a helmet, according to the police report.

The wearing of a helmet is to minimize the severity of head injuries in the event an accident occurs while operating these vehicles. The St. Maarten Police Department is urging all scooter or motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet when operating these vehicles as required by law and for their own wellbeing.

Source: 721news.com