Published On: Tue, Mar 18th, 2014

U.S. Dept. of State: ‘Improvement after change of command police’

Dept of StateWILLEMSTAD – The United Stated Department of State recently published their 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), in which they indicate that the Dutch Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) continue to serve as northbound transshipment points for cocaine originating from those countries. According to the report, cocaine shipments to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao primarily originate from the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia, and from the area of Maracaibo, Venezuela. The report also stated that cocaine is transported primarily via fishing boats and inter-coastal freighters for transshipment to the United States, and Europe via the Netherlands. St. Maarten, which is located in the Eastern Caribbean, is a transshipment hub for cocaine and heroin destined for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Europe. It is home to one of the largest harbors in the Caribbean.

Specifically on Curacao, the U.S. Department of State indicates that Curacao has vastly improved its effectiveness and efficiency in addressing endemic drug-related crime, violence, and corruption. In August 2013, the Police Corps (KPC) appointed a new chief of police. This appointment has contributed greatly to the leadership and stability of the KPC, which in turn has led to the successes achieved by its counternarcotics section. The price per kilogram of cocaine on the local black market has increased due to greater success in seizing narcotics in Curacao.

The Minister of Justice, Nelson Navarro stated that he doesn’t know where the U.S. Department of State received their information, but indeed there is an improvement in the fight against drugs. The Minister does not believe that the reason for this improvement was the change of command. The Chief of Police, Marlon Wernet was sent on mandatory leave because of the incident with the main suspect in the murder case of the late politician, Helmin Wiels. “This temporary change of command has nothing to do with narcotics or anything related to drugs,” the Minister said.

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