PHILIPSBURG- A routine immigration process on St. Maarten, before the boarding of passengers onto the Makana ferry, turned sour after a passenger with an infant was accused by a St. Maarten Immigration Officer of raising her voice.
The passenger, who maintained that she had done nothing wrong, then indeed raised her voice to show the officer yelling soundeds like. The young woman was sent to the back of the line, and was eventually helped by the immigration officer’s superior.
The passenger’s brother at some time also got involved in the discussion with the officer, which got more intense at that point. The Immigration officer with initials D.W, ironically a Statian himself, subsequently wanted to prohibit the brother to board the vessel on the ground of disrespecting an Immigration Officer.
The two Makana passengers however claimed that it was the Immigration Officer’s behavior that was ‘unprofessional’.
Other passangers on board the Makana at that point intervened and made sure the two passengers could still board the Makana.
While the departure of Makana was delayed because of the incident, she still arrived on time in St. Eustatius.
The passengers involved in the discussion told the BES-Reporter that they wanted to file a claim against D.W. for ‘unprofessional behavior’ while D.W. alledged also stated he wanted to file a report with local authorities against the two passengers for ‘disrispectful behavior’ displayed by the passengers.
The BES-Reporter was unable on Sunday evening to reach either the officer or the department in question for their comments on the course of events.