Chopin highlights security cooperation improvements

POSTED: 02/16/12 1:21 PM

St. Maarten – Prefet Delegue Phillipe Chopin has heralded the advances in security cooperation between the Dutch and French side, especially when it comes to illegal immigration. The acknowledgement was made during Wednesday’s signing of a declaration of intent of cooperation between the Dutch and French side.
The ground work for cooperation between the Dutch side’s Immigration Department and French side’s Paf was laid in a series of meetings that established priorities for joint actions. Those talks have already led to “considerable progress” in establishing joint controls at the Princess Juliana International Airport. While this trajectory is finalized parties are reportedly ready to do joint controls at the Simpson Bay Bridge.
Parties on both sides have also reached an agreement to establish a working group this year that will ensure proper implementation of a 2002 agreement on Customs that came into force in 2010.
Chopin also highlighted the fact that the Gendarmarie and the police on the Dutch side are “permanently connected” by a “red line” as a sign of the improved cooperation that has been achieved already.
Security is an integral part of how Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin will cooperate going forward. Parties have agreed to “revitalize collaborations in matters of joint customs control and security matters”, to support the implementation of joint actions and/or create joint entities to fight crime and illegal trafficking of, amongst other things, drugs and people. The overall goal is to achieve more efficient controls.

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