Investigation Into Three Syrians Detained In Sint Maarten Continues
PHILLIPSBURG – The investigation of three Syrian nationals who were arrested on Sint Maarten ten days ago continues, according to Dutch authorities.
The three men traveled into Sint Maarten using false Greek passports and identity cards. They have not asked for asylum. Using false travel documents is a crime punishable by law in the Netherlands, Dutch officials said.
Based on the violation of law, the three Syrians were arrested. The judge with jurisdiction in the criminal matter on Tuesday decided that the arrests were done in accordance with Dutch law and that the men can be detained to be questioned thoroughly by investigators.
The investigation is being conducted by KPSM with assistance of two detectives from the Dutch National Police (Landelijke Eenheid Nederlandse Politie) and an Arabic translator, Dutch officials said.
The investigation so far has focused on how and where the false documents were obtained and on what are the real identities of the three suspects, authorities said.
The men claim to have fled from Syria and said that they traveling to Europe via the route Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti and into Sint Maarten, according to Dutch officials.
Information from the investigation is being shared with Interpol and other international law enforcement agencies, including the United States.
Similar travel routes have been used by other Syrians who were arrested in neighboring countries. Thus, there are indications that there is a human smuggling network involved, authorities said.
So far, there is no evidence that there is a connection between the three suspects and terrorist groups, Dutch officials said.