Published On: Tue, Aug 12th, 2014

Curaçao forced to leave drug mules through


WILLEMSTAD - Faced with a jail that is unfit to incarcerate suspects at its main police station, Curaçao will no longer arrest drug mules that are spotted at its Hato International Airport.

While police on the island arrest at least 15 to 20 drug mules per week, the Public Health Department has forbidden the use of the jail in Willemstad for pre-detention. The plumbing in the building does not function properly and the premises are stacked with old fridges and other appliances.

Until a suitable arrangement is found, authorities in Curacao will pass on the names of suspected drug smugglers spotted at the airport, so they can be arrested at their destinations in Amsterdam or Dusseldorf.

Annually the courts in the Netherlands deal with thousands of drug mules caught with cocaine inside their bodies at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, many of whom originate from the former Netherlands Antilles.

After the Netherlands instituted 100 percent controls of all flights from key countries in the Caribbean in 2002, arrests at Schiphol peaked; between 2002 and 2004 no less than 4,100 people were found carrying drugs, with in 2004 an average of 290 drug couriers per month.  By 2011 a combined total of 15,000 cases related to the 100 percent controls had been heard at the airport Court.

Image: A cocaine ball excreted by a drug mule.

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