~Government checks and balances have broken down while innocent people become victims. ~
PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Justice Anna Richardson announced on Wednesday during the weekly Council of Ministers press briefing that she has taken note of the allegations made against the Police Department over the past days by members of the public and have launched a thorough investigation.
The Minister said the allegations cast a bad name on the Police Department (KPSM), the entire Ministry of Justice, and the country as a whole.
In the meantime, at least one of the persons who came forward with their predicament when police impounded a vehicle they bought and said it is a stolen vehicle is now being victimized by police and the prosecutor’s office. Melvin Mills contacted SMN News on Tuesday and said he received phone calls from the police department informing him that a decision was taken by the prosecutor to never release his vehicle back to him because he spoke to SMN News and provided documents that were published. However, the seller or sellers of the alleged stolen vehicles are still walking free since the KPSM and the Prosecutor’s Office labels this a civil case but has since refused to provide valuable information to Mills so that he could take his case to court.
In scanning through the documents that were provided by the victims, it is clear that government checks and balances have broken down and the only people that are suffering from the collapse are those that are now victims.
The government had put in place a system whereby sellers of private vehicles must take their documents and vehicle to the traffic department for inspection with a bill of sale on a government NAF10.00 paper for verification prior to the sale of the vehicle. However, the seller of these stolen vehicles did not respect this procedure, yet they managed to get their vehicles inspected with the “plain paper” bill of sale and also managed to insure their vehicle and purchase their number plates from the receiver's office. At no point, the inspection department or Receivers Office alerted these buyers that they have skipped the most important step by having the vehicle cleared by the traffic department.
SMN News asked the Minister of Finance about the breakdown of the system especially regarding the sale of number plates to persons who had a “plain paper” bill of sale. SMN News also asked the Minister to verify whether or not the Receivers Office sells “R” license plates to private citizens when they run out of the M and P plates. The Minister has since promised to look into that matter and provide answers sometime in the future.
While the Prosecutors Office is the decision-maker as to who KPSM officers could arrest and question in the selling of alleged stolen vehicles, it is very questionable as to how these decisions are made. The question that arises had it been an elected Member of Parliament or politician selling alleged stolen vehicles would the Prosecutor Office take the same decision or would they then drag these politicians out of their homes and arrest them in order to defame and create a bigger scandal.