WILLEMSTAD.-The Court of Appeal yesterday confirmed the judgment of the Court of First Instance for former police officer Mariens Mariano in the Inex 2.0 case, known as the 600 kg cocaine theft. A case that shook the community of Curaçao, how is it possible that 600 kg of cocaine could disappear from police custody and the batch has never been located or anyone convicted for this theft. Mariens was acquitted of charges for the 600 kg cocaine theft.

At the trial of the first instance, Mariano was acquitted of all guilt in this case, along with the co-defendants. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison only for importing 340 kg of cocaine that arrived at “Fuikbaai” on September 15, 2018, as part of the drug trafficking business, while still working as a police officer. The prosecution appealed the sentence only against the former police officer for the 600 kg cocaine theft.

Yesterday, the judge said that in this case there were several anonymous witnesses who would testify that Mariano was the “mastermind” behind the theft that took place in police custody. He was the one who sought among other the vehicle, materials, and the army gang to commit the theft. He was connected with members of the Coast Guard to get the drugs to the mainland, but on the night of September 15, 2018, things got out of control, resulting in the police confiscating the 340 kg that arrived at Fuik, which would have belonged to his uncle.

Furthermore, the judge continued, stating that witnesses A18 and A19 strongly testified that Mariano was involved in this shipment. The statement of A21 is of utmost importance because he claimed to have received this from Norbert Provence, who was the owner of the confiscated 340 kg cocaine shipment. This was the reason Mariano was pressured to remove the drugs from police custody.

According to the verdict, the police listened to 5 conversations where different individuals, identifiable by name and surname, spoke with Mariano, who admitted to removing the drugs from police custody.

Later on, the verdict speaks of some messages that the police would have obtained, where Mariano’s partner sent a message on May 4, 2019, telling him that he did what he did. Also, the police read another message where Mariano’s partner tells him how to respond to the police when they ask about the verbal messages they exchanged. According to the verdict, Mariano’s lawyer, Athena Sulvaran, requested that her client be acquitted of all charges because there is no concrete evidence and the statements of anonymous witnesses cannot be used in this case, as their reliability cannot be demonstrated and they have no support in the physical evidence. The messages between Mariano’s partner cannot be used either, as they do not speak about the accusations.

The accused himself exercised his right to remain silent during the proceedings.

The judge stated in his decision that the appellate court found that there is nothing in the record that can prove that the sources of information declared about Mariano’s involvement in the 600 kg theft is true or have any support. According to the appellate court, contrary to the prosecution, there is also no support for the statements of anonymous witnesses in this case. With this, the court concludes that there is not enough evidence from anonymous sources that can serve as a basis for proving in a way that the Court of Appeal can consider the accused guilty. Therefore, the court concludes the case with the acquittal of Mariano for the 600 kg cocaine theft.


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