Ministry of Justice – Delegation of INTERPOL Visits Sint Maarten
Philipsburg –The Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson, warmly welcomed a distinguished delegation from the Headquarters of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to Sint Maarten from May 15 to May 19, 2023, for a highly anticipated Quality Standard Visit. The purpose of the visit was to assess the effectiveness and performance of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Philipsburg, which currently functions as an integral part of the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM).
The INTERPOL Quality Standard Visit commenced with an official opening meeting led by Minister Richardson. Throughout the week-long program, the delegation engaged in a series of key activities, including a visit to the airport, a meeting with the Honorable Prime Minister, Silveria E. Jacobs, and fruitful discussions with stakeholders within the Justice chain. These discussions covered a broad range of critical topics, such as border protection, fugitives, human trafficking, human smuggling, narcotics, and firearms, as well as anti-counterfeit and intellectual property issues. INTERPOL provided invaluable insights into the various tools and databases available to Sint Maarten as a proud member state of INTERPOL. Furthermore, awareness was raised regarding the training and networking opportunities that can benefit the law enforcement officers of Sint Maarten.
The visit culminated in a closing meeting between Minister Richardson, the Chief of Police, and the INTERPOL delegation. During this meeting, the preliminary findings of INTERPOL were shared, and a comprehensive report detailing all the findings will be provided to Minister Richardson in the coming weeks.
The visit of INTERPOL marks a significant milestone in the process of strengthening INTERPOL Sint Maarten and intensifying the working relationship between Sint Maarten and INTERPOL. The initiative was initially set in motion by Minister Richardson in November 2022 when she embarked on a courtesy work visit to the INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon, France, accompanied by Ms. Geertje van Haperen, Senior Legal Policy Advisor of Judicial Affairs.
INTERPOL plays a pivotal role in offering a wide range of expertise and services to its member countries, including forensics, analysis, and assistance in locating fugitives worldwide. This expertise supports national efforts in combating crimes across three global areas: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime. Effective coordination among all stakeholders is crucial in maintaining a robust global security architecture.
Minister Richardson expressed her delight with the visit of INTERPOL and the valuable feedback received during their Quality Standard visit to Sint Maarten. “This visit holds great significance as it marks the first inspection since the establishment of the NCB on the beautiful island several years ago. I am proud as we were able to showcase Sint Maarten's unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of law enforcement and international cooperation. The positive feedback received thus far reinforces the dedication of Sint Maarten to ensuring the safety and security of its citizens and visitors.”
The Ministry of Justice remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing capabilities, fostering stronger partnerships, and embracing the latest advancements in technology and training. By doing so, Sint Maarten aims to elevate the effectiveness of its NCB in addressing global security challenges and making valuable contributions to the broader INTERPOL community.
Moving forward, the Ministry will build upon the recommendations provided by INTERPOL, ensuring that Sint Maarten maintains its reputation as a responsible and proactive partner in the fight against organized crime, terrorism, and emerging threats. The Ministry and INTERPOL share an unwavering resolve to create a safer world, and they eagerly anticipate continued collaboration and knowledge exchange to strengthen collective efforts. Sint Maarten remains steadfast in its commitment to justice, security, international cooperation, and we are honored to have received such positive recognition from INTERPOL.
Thank you once again to the INTERPOL team for their invaluable visit, and to all those who contribute to the safety and well-being of our community. Together, we will continue to strive for excellence in law enforcement and ensure a secure future for Sint Maarten and its residents.” stated Minister Richardson.