September 29, 2008


Notable facts:

  • Suspect was released from prison a month ago.
  • In 2002 he was convicted to eight years for raping a woman at Belnem, on Bonaire.

If the suspect was convicted to eight years for rape, then why was he on the streets only after 6 years?

KRALENDIJK -- The team of investigation has started with the interrogation of the 24-year old Rayan P., who’s being suspected of involvement in the disappearance of the Dutch Marlies van der Kouwen The examining judge has placed the suspect into custody on Friday.

P. was arrested on Thursday. Four houses were searched, of which three are where the suspect supposedly stays and one where a scooter was found. “The police confiscated several things and also the scooter, which is being investigated for tracks”, says Chief of Police John Schagen. Two other searches were conducted on Friday, and in addition to that, search operations with three tracker dogs in the course of the afternoon yesterday. They did this in the area where Marlies disappeared in the night of Saturday to Sunday. One of the tracker dogs is from the police corps in Curacao and the other two are from the Dutch Corps National Police Services.

The search operation continues today. “The investigation-team and the Public Prosecutor received dozens of tips in the past few days, including some very usable, which are being investigated. It doesn’t matter what the tip is, each single one is welcome. People that think that they have information that may have to do with the case, are incited to report this to the detective service via telephone number 717-8555, or 911, which is in operation 24 hours a day”, says Schagen.

September 25, 2008


Isn't this what we thought about Aruba?

"Our island is too small to live with such a terrible secret".

Dutch woman abducted in the Dutch Antilles

25 September 2008

The Dutch Antilles island of Bonaire is in shock after a young Dutch woman went missing during the weekend.

AD, De Volkskrant and Trouw report on the abduction that bears similarities to the Holloway case that took place on Aruba. Twenty-four-year-old Marlies van der Kouwe disappeared after an evening at a popular bar on Saturday night. She was seen being dragged off her bicycle by one or two assailants on a scooter. Only her bicycle and flip-flops were found.

The people of Bonaire point out the differences from the Holloway case. Ms van der Kouwe was not drinking, while Ms Holloway was. Aruba is a densely populated, international resort, whereas Bonaire only has 15,000 residents and fewer tourists.

Ms van der Kouwe was on the island for three weeks where she was working at a chemist’s. Born on Curacao, she was no stranger to the Antilles. The local police force received reinforcements from Curacao and the Netherlands. The coastguard is also helping to search for the young woman.

The owner of the bar where she was last seen expects it won't be long before someone comes forward with information. "Our island is too small to live with such a terrible secret".

September 21, 2008


Summary:Aruba continues to lie about tourism numbers, even as a double-murderer escaped from jail in Aruba, thanks to more police incompetence.

It should be no surprise that Boycott Watch has criticized Aruba for fudging tourism numbers in the face of the boycotts called against that country because of the way they handled the Natalee Holloway disappearance, and now murder case. One of the comments made by Fred Taub, President of Boycott Watch while on Your World with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel is that Aruba wanted to get the case out of the news to get tourism numbers up (See: here, here and here). Boycott Watch also broke the story about how Aruba lied about tourism numbers, claiming tourism was up when in actuality, it was down. Aruba was simply more interested in promoting their tourism industry than solving the murder, as evidenced by the fact that Aruba later admitted they lied about tourism numbers, essentially stating that Fred Taub of Boycott Watch was right all along (See: Aruba: Boycott Watch was Right!).

One would have thought, therefore, that Aruba would stop lying about tourism numbers, but that is not the case. Amigoe, the newspaper of Aruba, reported a near 90 percent occupancy of hotel rooms, and specifically 89.1% for the past eight months. In the hotel industry, that is considered full occupancy since it takes time to get rooms prepared for the next guests. Considering that it takes about an hour to properly prepare a hotel room for the next guests not to mention the food service and other tourist services, this means the islands unemployment rate would be very low, and the economy should therefore be booming.

The July 2008 report of the Central Bank of Aruba tells a different story, a "1.3 percentage points decrease to 78.4 percent in July 2008, compared to a year earlier. In essence, the Aruba Tourism Ministry is once again inflating the actual numbers to reporters in order to gain good PR. Additionally; the Central Bank of Aruba's quarterly report stated "mixed results," mainly because while tourism is up, "the construction and oil sectors incurred a slowdown in production." This is significant because the Central Bank warned Aruba that they need to diversify so they are not totally reliant on tourism. Also, construction slowdowns indicate a slowing economy.

It is clear that Aruba wants to do everything they can to increase tourism, which is the biggest chunk of their economy, and they will lie to make people think it is the hottest place to vacation, pun intended. What they will not tell you, however, is that the Aruba Police are still incompetent. Amigoe recently reported a double-murderer in their jail escaped by simply using an extension ladder. Yes, the police who botched the Natalee Holloway murder case left a ladder for murderers and other prisoners in their jail to escape with, and did not bother to make sure such prisoners were secure. Despite the small size of the island, the murderer is still free after 72 hours.

While Aruba is trying to promote a safe and secure vacation paradise, they are clearly doing a poor job proving it to the world. They claim a safe environment for tourists, yet we know they are prone to lie, even after being caught in the act and finally admitting it more than a year later. The best way to gain trust is to start by telling the truth, and Aruba appears to be addicted to lies, even while knowing their claims can be independently checked, which Boycott Watch did. Unlike the Aruba government, the Central bank of Aruba is concerned with financial reports and not political grandstanding, which is why the banking numbers are more reliable. Meanwhile, Aruba's government clearly has no problems telling the world their Island is safe, despite practically inviting one murderer to escape from jail and allowing a confessed murderer stay out of jail. Perhaps Aruba should change its motto from "one happy island" to "return-airline tickets optional."