Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson, and her delegation joined
her colleague Justice ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Aruba to
engage in intense discussions and decision- making regarding various agency
matters related to the detention system, immigration and border protection and
the progress on legislations, projects and structural improvements that will
improve the enforcement for safety, security and the overall well-being of
society. These are just a few of the matters handled during the two-day
deliberations on technical and ministerial level.
Chief Prosecutor, Mrs. Hieke Buist, and Chief of Police, Mr. Carl John, of Sint
Maarten were part of the JVO delegation of Sint Maarten. Chief John also has an
important role in the Caribbean part of our kingdom as the chairman of the
College of the Chiefs of Police.
representation of the Chiefs of Police of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom,
Chief John delivered a presentation that covered various collaborative efforts
underway by each territory to tackle crimes of various calibers.
Richardson appreciates the efforts underway with the cooperation initiatives
that address undermining activities and cross-border crime. In particular, with
attention zooming in on subversive crimes such as combating the import and sale
of counterfeit products.
the subject matter of combatting counterfeit products in Sint Maarten, which is
one of the Minister Richardson’s top priorities of 2023, it is relevant to
mention that it is becoming apparent to retailers and consumers that the
existing anti-counterfeiting laws are now being heavily enforced by the Customs
Department of Sint Maarten.
December of 2022, the Customs Department launched an awareness campaign to
further inform the public that the efforts to eradicate counterfeit products
from within the community of Sint Maarten will be intensified.
import and sale of fake and non-authentic products are a danger to the health
and wellness of consumers and by extension is universally known to be heavily
entwined with human trafficking, smuggling and child labor rings.
are all serious crimes affecting nations around the globe and must be
denormalized with consistent effort.
recently, the Prosecutor’s office gained the support of the courts to not
release fake cigarettes that were imported to Sint Maarten. This case is
ongoing, but the Government of Sint Maarten is pleased that the courts
recognizes the danger of such products and has taken a stance thus far to not
allow the release of these fake products.
important point Minister Richardson spoke very intensely on and called for her
colleague Minister of the Netherlands to assist with is the immense cutting of
the budgets of the Ministries of Justice of Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten.
Though the efforts are to achieve a balanced budget, it’s coming at a dangerous
sacrifice that can ultimately result in cause and affect scenarios and this
gives all the Ministers of the Dutch Caribbean great concerns about operations,
needed developments, and required growth.
with the cuts made on the budgets, the Ministers of Curacao, Aruba and Sint
Maarten jointly addressed their severe concern about the many obligations of
the countries coming from JVO initiatives and the country packages to work on
projects to strengthen the combating and prevention of crime within the
CAS islands have limited human, financial and material resources to work in a
successful manner on the initiatives simultaneously. Therefore, the countries
agreed during the JVO meeting that a joint prioritization of initiatives
including the impact on the aforementioned local resources of these priorities
will be carried out by the countries within short.
June of this year, the second and final JVO meeting of the year will be hosted
by Minister Richardson in Sint Maarten. Minister Richardson sees the need to
open the JVO discussions to representatives of all agencies of the justice
chain. This is to ensure that the impact of decisions made during the JVO
ministerial meeting, and the possible concerns of the agencies are completely
taken in consideration by the decision makers of the four countries and with
that stimulate realistic and successful implementation of decisions on an