Published On: Thu, Nov 16th, 2017

Boasman signs border control agreement

PHILIPSBURG – Justice Minister Rafael Boasman has signed off on the mutual agreement with the Netherlands for border control. Boasman said at Wednesday’s press briefing that the agreement still has to be signed by Dutch counterparts from several ministries before the document will be made public.

The minister presented some highlights though, saying that the agreement has been handled in he council of Ministers and that he had been authorized to sign it.

The focus is on reinforcement from the Royal Marechaussee and the Dutch Customs department for the control of persons and goods during the reconstruction period. This indicates that the agreement will remain in place for at least a couple of years.

“The minister of Justice of St. Maarten remains responsible for the execution of policy and for border control,” Boasman emphasized.

In his letter dated October 13, former Minister of Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk wrote that border control would be “the formal responsibility” of St. Maarten’s minister of Justice, a phrase that caused some suspicion in St. Maarten about the true intentions of the Kingdom government.

The local police force, immigration and customs department will make a plan of approach for the execution of heightened border control together with the Royal Marechaussee and the Dutch customs department. This plan has to be ready by January 1, 2018.

Boasman said that the focus of the controls will be on combating illegal immigration, the illegal import of drugs and weapons and related criminality and on illegal streams of money.

The Royal Marechaussee will concentrate on the control of persons and the Dutch customs department on the import of goods.

Marines executing border control at SXM Airport

File photo: Dutch marines execute border control at the SXM Airport after passing hurricane Irma. Photo by Milton Pieters.