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DH | Airport Chief of Security sentenced to 18 months

HomeMediaDH | Airport Chief of Security sentenced to 18 months
Jerry Sprott Airport security chief
PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance sentenced Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) Chief of Security Jerry Sprott (49) to 18 months and payment of NAf. 17,800 in a case involving corruption and money-laundering.

The Court also banned him from holding any public office as a civil servant for four years.

As safety and integrity at St. Maarten’s airport are paramount, especially in the interest of passenger safety, the Prosecutor’s Office demanded a prison sentence of 18 months.

Also, Sprott will have to pay back to country St. Maarten the profit of his illegal activities. In case of non-compliance he will have to spend 85 days in prison, the Court established in its ruling of Monday, June 17.

Sprott’s legal defence had pleaded with the Court to reject the claim and to acquit the defendant of all charges, but the Judge dismissed these pleadings, as the lawyer had failed to make it plausible that Sprott had obtained the money via a loan, not a bribe.

The defendant was found guilty of having accepted bribes to the amount of US $10,000 between August 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019.

In an unrelated investigation by the Anti-Corruption Taskforce TBO, police informants had a coincidental meeting with Sprott on April 24, 2018, from which the suspicion emerged that he allegedly facilitated illegal transports via the airport.

To avoid problems with the tax department and the Financial Intelligence Unit MOT, Sprott advised the Dutch informants during two conversations to import large sums of cash into St. Maarten in a bag, because nobody at the airport would be checking that.

During a conversation about gemstones on June 22, 2018, Sprott said that one should arrive at the airport in a private aircraft and that he could arrange for the plane to be moved to a hanger or parking spot which could be reached easily and where no inspections would be carried out.

Starting August 30, 2018, the informants and Sprott made concrete arrangements about how and where the money would be smuggled into St. Maarten. The suspect was shown a photograph of a small briefcase with two million euros. Asked about the “reward” for his services, Sprott said he wanted $20,000 for the illegal import of currency.

Sprott had told one of the informers during one of the conversations that the “island culture” suited him better than the Dutch culture because there always was something to “arrange” and that “no” could also be changed into “yes.”

The official order for the pseudo-transaction was given on September 14, 2018, and the police informant was ordered to pay the suspect $10,000.

He told Sprott he intended to invest in real estate in St. Maarten with money he wanted to keep out of the hands of the Dutch tax authorities. “No one wants to pay taxes,” was Sprott’s response, according to the verdict.

Sprott said changes were imminent at PJIA and one should act quickly if one wanted to travel with money. He said he would meet the person at the airplane stairs and would guide him past Immigration and Customs, and escort him to the exit.

He said it would be best to travel via Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris because the Royal Dutch Marechaussee had good contacts with the Netherlands, but not with Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The money was to be brought to St. Maarten on September 23, 2018. That day, Sprott led the police informer past Immigration and Customs, and the next day he received $5,000 for his services. After a second money transport from the Netherlands on November 4, 2018, he received another $5,000.

Based on these facts, the Court established that the suspect had not been incited and that the rules pertaining to special investigative powers had not been violated.

Sprott had tried to persuade the Judge that he had not committed any punishable acts and that the money he received was a loan. However, the Judge rejected these statements as being insufficiently plausible and not supported by any evidence.

The Court held it against Sprott that he had shown a lack of integrity in his capacity as the airport’s head of security with 15 years under his belt.

The Court acquitted him of money-laundering because the cash involved in the transaction was not obtained by crime.

Bron: Daily Herald

2 reacties

  1. Kei- en keihard bewijs tegen deze crimineel, maar…

    ‘Sprott’s legal defence had pleaded with the Court to reject the claim and to acquit the defendant of all charges’

    Vandaar mijn afkeer van ratvocaten.

    Het ontvangen geld was een lening, zei de crimineel nog…

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