~ Several complaints filed, no action taken by Minister of Justice, Conflict of Interest highlighted. ~
PHILIPSBURG: --- Several immigration workers that are working at IND building under the current department head Alexandra Yeung is calling for her immediate dismissal.
The workers that contacted SMN News said they filed written complaints against Yeung whom they said have been terrorizing her subordinates by verbally abusing them and using obscene languages in the presence of clients.
The workers said that despite complaints are being filed, no disciplinary actions are taken by the Minister of Justice Anna Richardson since she is allegedly a close friend of Yeung. The workers believe that the Minister is covering up for Yeung and as such they are calling on the Council of Ministers to take the decision to have Yeung removed from the position.
On Thursday SMN News published an article where it states that the department head physically assaulted Sientje Hooi, however after reading the written internal report that was sent the Minister of Justice, nowhere it states that Yeung physically attacked Hooi, however, the reports states that Yeung accosted the immigration employee in a very small space while she was shouting and using indecent language in the presence of clients and other staff of IND.
Hooi in her internal report said that the incident on November 2nd, 2022, began on November 1st, 2022 where she had an incident with Stanlina Sharples regarding a landing permit. The detailed report states that Sharples told Hooi to have the client wait until a minor issue was fixed who later denied that she told the client and Hooi that the client should wait, the two employees continued to argue about a refund because the client was over charged.
On November 2nd, 2022, Sharples was seen in Yeung’s office where she relayed what transpired including a statement that was made by Hooi about the department head. Based on the report Yeung flipped when she was told what Hooi said, and she became enraged.
In the report, Hooi stated that this is the second report she has submitted against Yeung who has she said is unprofessional and has been abusing her power. The first report was submitted in November 2021.
Due to the incident on Thursday Alexandra Yeung was suspended for two days, however, the staff of IND is calling on the Council of Ministers to intervene since the Minister of Justice Anna Richardson has failed to act.
SMN News also obtained a report submitted by Millicent Leonora who has been working at IND since January 1st 2015.
Leonora submitted her report in August 2022, where she brought to the attention of the Minister of Justice, conflict of interest involving Yeung and the and Amador Muller.
The employee in her report explained the process for appeals and states that she reports directly to the Director of Immigration because the Department head is the one that takes the final decision regarding admission and expulsion in the first instance. However, at the moment the employee states that she now has to report to the department head and this process is not integral, and can be considered a conflict of interest.
In the said report the employee mentioned that she is responsible for the preparation of LAR cases in the event it reaches court. The report indicates that are much more denials of permits since 2021. Furthermore, Muller, a government legal advisor is the one advising on residency applications in the first instance, the compliance department. Muller also sits in appeal hearings, while he represents the Immigration Department in court on behalf of the government of St. Maarten.
Despite, the detailed report being sent to the Minister of Justice, it is alleged that nothing has been done thus far to remedy the situation.