The suspect B.A.R. had to appear in court today accused of placing two false bomb threats at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) on November 22nd 2015.
The threats were placed through telephone calls at approximately 12:30 and 16:00 hours to the security department of PJIA and 911. All operations and traffic at and around the airport had to be shut down between 12:30 and 18:00 hours. Emergency services were put on high alert in case the threat was serious. It was the fifth and sixth bomb threat placed at PJIA last year.
Placing false bomb threats is according to the Prosecutor’s Office a serious and punishable offense. It enhances the feeling of insecurity within the community in a time where the general public has already been on high alert concerning (terrorist) attacks. St. Maarten is a small (and thus vulnerable) society that heavily relies on the income of tourism (via PJIA).
B.A.R. told the authorities that he had lend his phone to another person. However police investigation determined that this was highly improbable.
Considering all the above and the fact that B.A.R. was convicted in the past already for placing a false bomb threat, the Prosecutor’s Office asked for the suspects to be sentenced to a 18 months’ imprisonment and a fine of US$ 10.000.
Third parties such as the police, the fire department and organizers of a party that had to take place in the vicinity of the airport, also submitted a claim to receive compensation for damages suffered. The Prosecutor’s Office fully supported this claim.
The judge will give it’s verdict in the bomb threat case over exactly three weeks.
Bron: Openbaar Ministerie SInt Maarten