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‘Operation Ostrich’ Nets SXM Arrests of Two Dutch Immigration Officers Allegedly Linked To Human Trafficking

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PHILLIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Two employees of the Dutch immigration service were arrested suspected of human smuggling, bribery and abuse of their post this week.

A person with the initials “K.L.M.B.” (34) and a person with the initials “A.A.D.” (33) were arrested around 6:20 am. on Tuesday.

The arrests are the result of a lengthy investigation that has been ongoing since April 2016, code-named “Operation Ostrich,” according to Dutch authorities.

“Operation Ostrich” is an investigation carried out by the Human Trafficking Unit and Human Smuggling of the St. Maarten Police Force, KPSM into the illegal importation of Jamaicans and Haitians.

The arrests were carried out by members of the Human Trafficking Unit in conjunction with the National Detectives Agency, the Dutch agencies said in a joint release.

On November 14, 2016, another employee of the immigration service, a person with the initials “J.M.” was arrested in the same investigation. She is still detained while her partner, a man with the initials “D.F.” who was also arrested has been released from pre-trial detention. He remains a suspect in the ongoing investigation.

THE ROUND UP (INDIAN STYLE): According to the United Nations, human trafficking is now the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world after weapons smuggling and drug smuggling. Every year, an estimated two million children worldwide are exploited in sex trafficking operations.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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