High demands against coastguard officers
WILLEMSTAD – Last Friday the public prosecutor demanded six to nine years imprisonment for drug trafficking, money laundering and arms trafficking in the case called Baywatch. Four former coastguard officers and a fifth person are suspects in this case.
The investigation into the case started last year May when the coastguard leadership was tipped off that there may be officers involved in drug trafficking. During the investigation it was revealed that there was indeed drug-related offenses from both coastguard officers and three civilians. In late November, seven suspects were arrested.
The case was given an extra dimension because it was not immediately clear whether more coastguard officers were involved. Several coastguard employees and the Minister of Justice, Nelson Navarro, were in conflict because of the minister's decision not to let officers use their service weapons after work hours.
Prosecutor Gert Rip used his closing argument not only to formulate demands and motivate, but also to ventilate the outcome of the wider coastguard investigation, which showed that only three suspects at the coastguard are corrupt and that the other employees are clean.
Now there is a demand of eight years prison against three former coastguard officers and for two other suspects nine and six years. The demands against the officers is high because they had breached their duty and professional secrecy with their criminal acts.
The judge will rule in three weeks.