Lyon, France – On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson paid a courtesy work visit to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Headquarters in Lyon, France together with Senior Legal Policy Advisor of Judicial Affairs Ms. Geertje van Haperen. This work visit was an initiative of Minister Richardson in a bid to strengthen INTERPOL Sint Maarten and intensify the working relationship with INTERPOL. Minister Richardson and Ms. Van Haperen were warmly welcomed by INTERPOL Acting Executive Director, Partnerships and Planning, Ms. Roraima Andriani.
INTERPOL provides a range of expertise and services to their member countries such as forensics, analysis, and assistance in locating fugitives around the world. This expertise supports national efforts in combating crimes across three global areas; terrorism, cybercrime and organized crime. It is crucial that there is coordination among all the different players in maintaining a global security architecture.
During the visit, Minister Richardson participated in meetings with several INTERPOL officials where she was able to discuss an extensive array of topics and receive presentations on INTERPOL’s efforts in the Caribbean region and worldwide. INTERPOL officials informed Minister Richardson of the Framework of INTERPOL as an organization, the available possibilities using the online training platform for INTERPOL employees and Law enforcement officers, and INTERPOL’s upcoming activities worldwide.
Minister Richardson also received highlights on the ongoing project to establish INTERPOL’s Liaison Office in Barbados, as well as presentations on INTERPOL’s efforts in combatting human smuggling, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and illegal firearms trafficking. INTERPOL plays an important role in supporting Sint Maarten. To this effect, INTERPOL officials informed Minister Richardson of the statistics about INTERPOL Sint Maarten and discussed the positioning of the organization within Sint Maarten’s Ministry of Justice.
“As Minister of Justice, I am thankful to INTERPOL and the role they play in supporting Sint Maarten to tackle international crime. As such, I take this time to thank Ms. Andriani and the various INTERPOL officials for their warm welcome and the opportunity to discuss the ways in which we can strengthen INTERPOL Sint Maarten through cooperation. During my work visit in Geneva to attend the Kingdom’s Universal Periodic Review session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on November 15, 2022, together with the Ministers of Justice of Curaçao and Aruba, we took the opportunity to hold our second Justice Tripartite meeting between the Caribbean countries where we were also able to discuss best practices related to INTERPOL Curaçao and INTERPOL Aruba. In addition, I am looking forward to the follow-up meeting with INTERPOL to be scheduled surrounding INTERPOL’s role in anti-counterfeiting; a matter of priority for the Ministry of Justice,” stated Minister Richardson.
INTERPOL in Sint Maarten
The INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Philipsburg is part of the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) and plays a fundamental role to maintain national and regional security. The NCB coordinates the operational side of Sint Maarten’s law enforcement action relating to global and regional criminal investigations, particularly as it relates to organized drug trafficking and fugitive investigations.