Published On: Fri, Apr 1st, 2016

Drug courier first case of denied entry into Curaçao

plasterkTHE HAGUE -Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk confirmed this week that the female drug courier, who was forbidden from returning to Curaçao, was the first case involving a person living in the Netherlands.

The 37-year-old woman originating from Curaçao, who resides in Rotterdam, has been denied re-entry by Curaçao authorities, based on new legislation adopted by the Curaçao Parliament in December last year. She was arrested at Curaçao’s Hato Airport in January with 155 grams of cocaine.

Minister Plasterk explained in his reply to written questions submitted by Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party early March this year that the female courier had already been convicted four times for transporting illegal drugs.

Curaçao’s amended National Decree Opium states that the Court can forbid a person to leave or return to a country in the Kingdom in case of an opium-related crime. In this case, the Judge resorted to a re-entry prohibition for a period of three years because of four earlier convictions for the same crime, along with a term of ten months in prison.

Plasterk stated it was a known fact that persons, who have been approached once to carry out courier work, kept getting contacted to perform more jobs. In many cases, these persons agree to transport illegal drugs out of fear, powerlessness or due to financial reasons, he added.

“The demanding of a travel prohibition by the Public Prosecutor’s Office apparently also serves as a protection of the (potential) drug courier, who can appeal to the travel ban in case he or she is approached a next time. If the lady had been registered in Curaçao, the Prosecutor’s Office in Willemstad would have demanded a prohibition to travel out of Curaçao,” stated Plasterk.

Asked by Member of Parliament (MP) Bosman whether he shared the opinion that the drug courier should do her time in a Curaçao jail, the Minister replied that the execution of a punishment imposed by the Curaçao Court was carried out under the responsibility of the local Minister of Justice.

“I agree that it is important that convicted criminals serve their punishment imposed by the Judge,” stated Plasterk, who added that in this case the execution of the sentence regarding the jail term could prove to be a problem now that the woman in question has been forbidden to enter Curaçao.

The Minister confirmed that the Dutch law didn’t contain a condition similar to the one in Curaçao that allows the refusal of entry in case of a conviction based on the Opium law. He suggested that the case in question could be part of the discussions regarding the regulation of residency within the Kingdom.

Bosman had questioned the Court’s decision to forbid the re-entry of the repeat drug offender, a situation he called “undesirable”, as in his opinion the woman would “become a problem of the Netherlands.” He said Curaçao “threw its problem in the lap of the Netherlands.”

Source; The Daily Herald

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