Aruba is behind in paying the Netherlands for coast guard payments. Does this mean that Aruba will be sent to collections? Aruba may want to check their credit history report. Why would anyone not want to pay fore the very people who prevent drug and human trafficking?
WILLEMSTAD/DEN HAAG – Aruba still has to pay the Netherlands 7.9 million guilders in coastguard payment arrears for the period of 1999-2002. The Netherlands has also not received the payments for 2007 yet, while the bill was sent early this year.
Defence-minister Eimert van Middelkoop (ChristenUnie) says that as answer on questions asked by the standing committees for Defence and for the Neth.Antillean- and Aruban Affairs. The committees say that the Neth.Antilles canceled all their payments for the coastguard.
Middelkoop writes that the coastguard is going to aim more for the control of human trafficking and illegal migration. The ministers of Justice of the three countries of the Kingdom have ordered that as part of judicial priorities for the coastguard. They did this because the Leeward- as well as the Windward Islands are being used as stepping stone for human trafficking purposes. Besides, the human trafficking was also mentioned in the recent report of the Scientific Research and Documentation Centre on Organized Crime and the Maintenance of Law and Order on St. Maarten.
In his letter to the Lower House, Minister Van Middelkoop also goes into the developments of the cross-border transportation of drugs to or from the Antilles. He says that there is an impression that qua method as well as route, the transporters of drugs use other routes than before. This is derived from among others the decrease in the number of drugs confiscated and the use of other vessels that the go-fasts, like regular fishermen boats and container ships.
ON the question which means the coastguard will use to set forth and intensify the cooperation process with France regarding the placing of radars on St. Maarten, Van Middelkoop reminds that a decision-making must first take place in the Minister Council for the Kingdom. “Possibilities to more operational cooperation with France, for example like placing some radar stations on the French part of St. Maarten and exchanging of information, will be considered.” The Netherlands brought the possibilities for cooperation in the field of people control and border traffic on St. Maarten to the attention of the French authorities in Paris during the bilateral judicial deliberation. “The good operational contacts between the coastguard and the French maintenance of law and order services in St. Maarten can be helpful as part of implementation questions”, said the minister.