Dutch military 'running amok' in Antilles
15 July 2004, AMSTERDAM — Of the 1,000 Dutch naval personnel stationed in the Netherlands Antilles to combat the international drugs trade, 15 have been arrested so far this year for allegedly trafficking narcotics, it was revealed Thursday.
15 July 2004
AMSTERDAM — Of the 1,000 Dutch naval personnel stationed in the Netherlands Antilles to combat the international drugs trade, 15 have been arrested so far this year for allegedly trafficking narcotics, it was revealed Thursday.
Another 30 have been detained by the military police for a range of crimes, including serious assault, intimidation, vandalism and theft, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
The Dutch Royal Navy confirmed to the newspaper that eight marines have been set home this year from the Caribbean for drug possession or drug dealing.
Jean Debie, of the military trade union VBM/NOV suggested that information from the navy itself indicated about 50 service personnel had been accused of law-breaking. The 15 mentioned referred to cases judged too serious to deal with by internal disciplinary action.
Last year, the navy sent eight to 10 people home for possessing or trafficking drugs in the Netherlands Antilles.
A naval spokesperson explained that personnel caught with soft drugs while serving in the Antilles were given a warning and sent home due to the fact they were there to combat drugs.
Discharge from the service would follow if the person was caught a second time and anyone caught with hard drugs would be dismissed automatically.
The Netherlands Antilles is made up of five islands — Curacao, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius — which were at the heart of the Dutch slave trade until abolition in 1863.
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, which seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986, are two of the three parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Caribbean islands are considered transit points for drugs coming from South America destined for Europe and the US.
The Netherlands is responsible for the defence of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. As the Caribbean islands do not have any territorial disputes, the Dutch naval contingent — made up of 300 marines and 700 other naval personnel — stationed on the Netherlands Antilles is involved in combating drugs trafficking.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, Netherlands Antilles, drug trafficking