Tag Archives: Netherlands

Caribbean adopts plan to seek slavery reparations.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (AP) — Leaders of Caribbean nations on Monday unanimously adopted a broad plan on seeking reparations from European nations for what they say are the lingering ill effects of the Atlantic slave trade on the region.

 

A British human rights law firm hired by the Caribbean Community grouping of nations announced that prime ministers had authorized a 10-point plan that would seek a formal apology and debt cancellation from former colonizers such as Britain, France and the Netherlands. The decision came at a closed-door meeting in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

 

According to the Leigh Day law firm, the Caribbean Community also wants reparation payments to repair the persisting “psychological trauma” from the days of plantation slavery and calls for assistance to boost the region’s technological know-how since the Caribbean was denied participation in Europe’s industrialization and confined to producing and exporting raw materials such as sugar.

 

The plan further demands European aid in strengthening the region’s public health, educational and cultural institutions such as museums and research centers.

 

It is even pushing for the creation of a “repatriation program,” including legal and diplomatic assistance from European governments, to potentially resettle members of the Rastafarian spiritual movement in Africa. Repatriation to Africa has long been a central belief of Rastafari, a melding of Old Testament teachings and Pan-Africanism whose followers have long pushed for reparations.

 

Martyn Day of the law firm called the plan a “fair set of demands on the governments whose countries grew rich at the expense of those regions whose human wealth was stolen from them.”

 

Day said an upcoming meeting in London between Caribbean and European officials “will enable our clients to quickly gauge whether or not their concerns are being taken seriously.” It was not immediately clear when the meeting to potentially seek a negotiated settlement will take place.

 

The idea of the countries that benefited from slavery paying some form of reparations has been a decades-long quest but only recently has it gained serious momentum in the Caribbean.

 

Caricom, as the political grouping of 15 countries and dependencies is known, announced in July that it intended to seek reparations for slavery and the genocide of native peoples and created the Caribbean Reparations Commission to push the issue and present their recommendations to political leaders.

 

They then hired Leigh Day, which waged a successful fight for an award compensation of about $21.5 million for surviving Kenyans who were tortured by the British colonial government during the so-called Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s and 1960s.

 

The commission’s chairman, Hilary Beckles, a scholar who has written several books on the history of Caribbean slavery, said he was “very pleased” that the political leaders adopted the plan.

 

In 2007, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed regret for the “unbearable suffering” caused by his country’s role in slavery but made no formal apology. In 2010, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy acknowledged the “wounds of colonization” and pointed out France had canceled a 56 million euro debt owed by Haiti and approved an aid package.

 

The Caribbean Reparations Commission said Monday that far more needed to be done for the descendants of slaves on struggling islands, saying it sees the “persistent racial victimization of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today.”

 

Reblogged by Wade Bailey

 

Associated Press writer Duggie Joseph reported this story in Kingstown, St. Vincent, and David McFadden reported from Kingston, Jamaica.

 

Speech International Conference on Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters.

Dutch AIVD Director of Intelligence Jack Twiss, 15 February 2017

Today I would like to tell you about a family that went to Syria. A mother and father, inspired by the proclamation of the ISIS caliphate. Perhaps they believe that it would be wonderful to raise their children in an Islamic utopia. They take their two children, close the door behind them, and leave.

After a long and arduous journey the family arrives in Syria. The father is immediately sent off to a training camp where he is trained in the use of weapons and combat.

After his training he is regularly sent to the front lines to fight. The mother and the two young children quickly find out that daily life with ISIS is tough. They find it hard to adjust to the bombing raids, to sharing a house with other families, to only a few hours of electricity a day. The mother finds herself pregnant and soon discovers that prenatal care is abominable. She wants to return to the Netherlands and she manages to convince her husband that they ought to flee. So, shortly before the father is sent to the front again they make their escape, cross the border into Turkey and eventually return to the Netherlands.

Upon their arrival the father and mother are arrested on suspicion of membership of a terrorist organization. The children are taken to live with relatives. The father and mother are interrogated separately and they categorically deny having been members of ISIS. After a month the public prosecution service decides to release them for lack of evidence.

The family returns to their old neighbourhood.

This is one example of some of the stories that I deal with as director of intelligence with the General intelligence and security service – the AIVD. At this point in our story the AIVD faces a dilemma: the mother and father are disillusioned, yes, but have they also renounced their jihadist beliefs? Or will they continue to support the jihad in Syria but now from the Netherlands?

These are the questions that one of the teams of my service sets out to answer. As an intelligence and security service we are able to, and allowed to do a lot. We have a range of investigatory powers at our disposal, such as observation, house searches, wire taps, all under strict conditions.

But we are no mind readers. People who have something to hide are often highly security-conscious, and they try to deceive us. For example, what is it exactly that two returnees are talking about when one of them asks the other: “when does the game start?” Does this mean they are going to a football match together, or is it an attack plot they are discussing? We hear remarks such as these every day, and for every remark we have to assess if it constitutes a threat or not.

Similarly, for the family of four I described just now we have to take great care to see if they constitute a risk. Then we decide if it is necessary to keep a close watch on these persons, or whether they can reintegrate into our society.

In our publication ‘Focus on Returnees’, published today, we describe the threat. All returnees are reviewed by the AIVD to assess their potential threat. One of the criteria we look at is the length of stay in the conflict zone. Nearly all returnees coming back now have spent at least a year in the conflict zone. Many of them have gained combat experience and are deeply integrated into jihadist networks. Which means that they pose potentially a greater threat than the earlier returnees that spent less time in the conflict zone.

The reason why someone decides to return to the Netherlands also plays a role. This is not always clear: medical problems, homesickness or pressure from relatives, but also a sense of disillusion with life in the caliphate could be important. Being disillusioned, however, does not mean that radical ideas and violence have been renounced. For the most part disappointment with life in the conflict zone does not mean that people turn their backs on jihadist ideology.

Where there is no information on why someone returned, or there are indications that the returnees have been allowed to leave by ISIS, the AIVD will take into account these returnees may have been sent back to Europe with a specific assignment.

While the experiences of life in the caliphate are certainly part of the assessment of

the potential threat of returnees, even more important are our up-to-date knowledge

of and insight into their behaviour, beliefs and intentions.

Let’s go back to our recently returned family of four. They were in the conflict zone only a couple of months. Their main motivation for returning was the dire quality of life in the caliphate. But what does that imply in terms of their jihadist intentions? The mother has turned her back on ISIS, but the father still appears to be radicalised and to support the jihad, only now he is in the Netherlands.

It is not necessary, nor feasible for us to monitor each and every returnee twentyfour- seven. Fortunately the AIVD partners with a whole chain of organizations that play a part where returnees are concerned.

We strive to share our information on foreign fighters with the public prosecution service so that they can start their criminal investigation at an early stage. Returnees will initially be arrested and where possible prosecuted.

Returnees that are released are taken on by the social services of the local authorities in their place of residence. Signals coming from these municipal agencies and organizations are of great value to the AIVD in assessing whether someone is still harbouring radical ideas. Because, as I mentioned before, we cannot monitor each and every returnee day and night. The police also keep a watchful eye: local police officers know the local situation, know who is friendly with whom and who the jihadist instigators are.

 

 

They are in a perfect position to pick up signals at a local level and if necessary inform us. The AIVD then has the difficult task to assess in time if someone presents an actual danger or not.

The AIVD expects the number of returning jihadist to increase little by little in the future. Together they constitute a group that requires the close attention of all of us, because they are ideologically hardened, because they have combat experience and because they have become a part of a jihadist network. The AIVD does not expect all Dutch foreign fighters to return to our country. Some of them will remain in the region, and some will be killed in action. We should take care not to focus too much on returnees alone. If we look at the most recent attacks in Berlin and Nice the perpetrators weren’t returnees that had been trained in Syria or Iraq. There are homegrown jihadists that pursue the fight in their own country, often inspired by ISIS’ propaganda. Some individuals are actively, incited and facilitated by ISIS to spring into action. So we have several different scenarios to deal with.

Today’s publication discusses the threat posed by returnees. Unfortunately it does not offer any ready-made answers. The case of the family of returnees I used as an example today, shows that what is needed is the long-term investment of different agencies and organizations. Hopefully our publication offers you help, insight and suggestions. In addition to this publication I would like to leave you with these three points.

(1) Returnees are not all alike. Threat assessment has been and always will be ‘made-to-measure’. (2) We should work together to remain alert regarding the group of future returnees. Only by cooperating can we resist the potential threat they pose.

(3) The jihadist threat is a complicated matter. Homegrown jihadists are inspired or incited on by ISIS, and the risk they pose is as great as that of returnees.

 

General Intelligence and Security Service Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. Says Antilleans in ISIS.

caribb-666229

The transformation of jihadism in the Netherlands Swarm dynamics and new strength.

 

 

Hard to count, hard to profile The true size of the jihadist movement in the Netherlands is difficult to assess. Not everyone openly propounds their ideology, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between jihadists and non-violent Salafists and internet personalities may be misleading. One individual can assume multiple jihadist identities online, and some of those who espouse jihad on the internet shy away from it in real life. However, the AIVD estimates that there are several hundred core adherents in the Netherlands and a few thousand sympathisers. Moreover, the movement’s appeal to some is so strong that they evolve remarkably quickly from followers at home to hard-core fighters on the front line in Syria, where they are prepared to take part in atrocities such as summary executions, mass murder and the beheading of opponents.

It is impossible to present a standard profile of the “typical” Dutch jihadist, or of the “typical” Dutch fighter abroad. The movement’s members vary widely in age, ethnic origin, educational attainment, employment background and home situation. Although the majority are men, many are women. A large proportion are in their twenties or thirties, but plenty more are older or younger. Some are minors. Relatively speaking, Dutch Moroccans are overrepresented (the majority of those identified by the AIVD as Dutch fighters abroad are of Moroccan origin). But ethnic Dutch converts to Islam are also found in the ranks of the movement, as are people of Somali, Antillean, Afghan, Turkish and Kurdish origin. Some lack even a basic educational qualification; others are university students or graduates. Many are out of work and living on benefits, but others hold down a variety of jobs. Some come from radical families that share their jihadist ideology, others from secular or moderate homes.

The widely-held view that they tend to deradicalise once they marry and have children does not always hold true. Several of the fighters now in Syria are husbands and fathers, and some have even been joined there by their wives and children. That is in defiance of mainstream religious leaders, who stress that jihadist fighters are in breach of Islamic teachings in respect of family obligations – for example, a child’s duty to obey their parents and a parent’s responsibility for their children.

Strategy Report Volume II Money Laundering and Financial Crimes March 2017. Sint Maarten.

United States Department of State

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

International

Narcotics Control

Strategy Report

Volume II

Money Laundering and Financial Crimes

March 2017

 

 

Sint Maarten

OVERVIEW

Sint Maarten is an autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Kingdom retains responsibility for foreign policy and defense, including entering into international conventions. The Kingdom may extend international conventions to the autonomous countries. With the Kingdom’s agreement, each autonomous country can be assigned a status of its own within international or regional organizations subject to the organization’s agreement. The individual countries may conclude MOUs in areas in which they have autonomy, as long as these MOUs do not infringe on the foreign policy of the Kingdom as a whole. In 1999, the Kingdom extended the UN Drug Convention to Sint Maarten, and in 2010, the UNTOC was extended to Sint Maarten.

A governor appointed by the King represents the Kingdom on the island and a Minister Plenipotentiary represents Sint Maarten in the Kingdom Council of Ministers in the Netherlands.

In June 2016, Aruba, Sint Maarten, the Netherlands, and Curacao signed an MOU with the United States to stimulate joint activities and enhance sharing of information in the areas of criminal investigation and upholding public order and security and to strengthen mutual cooperation in forensics and the organization of the criminal justice system. While the MOU is a broad-based attempt to improve all of the criminal justice system, one priority area is cracking down on money laundering operations.

VULNERABILITIES AND EXPECTED TYPOLOGIES

Sint Maarten has an offshore banking industry consisting of one bank.

Many hotels legally operate casinos on the island, and online gaming is also legal but is not subject to supervision.

Sint Maarten’s favorable investment climate and rapid economic growth over the last few decades have drawn wealthy investors to the island to invest their money in large scale real estate developments, including hotels and casinos. In Sint Maarten, money laundering of criminal profits occurs through business investments and international tax shelters. Its weak government sector continues to be vulnerable to integrity-related crimes.

KEY AML LAWS AND REGULATIONS

INCSR 2017 Volume II Country Reports

156

KYC laws cover banks, lawyers, insurance companies, customs, money remitters, the Central Bank, trust companies, accountants, car dealers, administrative offices, Tax Office, jewelers, credit unions, real estate businesses, notaries, currency exchange offices, and stock exchange brokers.

The MLAT between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States, rather than the U.S. – EU Agreement, which has not yet been extended to the Kingdom’s Caribbean countries, applies to Sint Maarten and is regularly used by U.S. and Sint Maarten law enforcement agencies for international drug trafficking and money laundering investigations.

Sint Maarten is a member of the CFATF, a FATF-style regional body, and, through the Kingdom, the FATF. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/index.php/documents/cfatf-mutual-evaluation-reports/sint-maarten-1

 

AML DEFICIENCIES

In July 2015, Sint Maarten’s FIU reported that hundreds of unusual financial transaction investigations were backlogged at the Sint Maarten Public Prosecutor’s Office. Approximately 1,138 reports totaling $243 million have not been investigated.

The UNCAC has not yet been extended to Sint Maarten.

Sint Maarten has yet to pass and implement legislation to regulate and supervise its casino, lottery, and online gaming sectors in compliance with international standards. In addition, the threshold for conducting customer due diligence in the casino sector does not comply with international standards.

ENFORCEMENT/IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS

The National Ordinance Reporting Unusual Transactions establishes an “unusual transaction” reporting system. Designated entities are required to file unusual transaction reports (UTRs) with the FIU on any transaction that appears unusual (applying a broader standard than “suspicious”) or when there is reason to believe a transaction is connected with money laundering. If, after analysis of an unusual transaction, a strong suspicion of money laundering arises, those suspicious transactions are reported to the public prosecutor’s office.

The harbor of Sint Maarten is well known for its cruise terminal, one of the largest in the Caribbean islands. The local container facility plays an important role in the region. Larger container ships dock their containers in Sint Maarten where they are picked up by regional feeders to supply the smaller islands surrounding Sint Maarten. Customs and law enforcement authorities should be alert for regional smuggling, TBML, and value transfer schemes.

Van Raak pens new book: De Tweede Kamer is Geen Talkshow/The Second Chamber is not a Talk Show.

 

The Second Chamber is Not a Talk show, is the title of the latest book by Ronald Van Raak.  Twenty-five chapters long, the book contains some interesting anecdotes and oft repeated factual based indictments of the system of governance in the so-called Dutch Caribbean. The following is a breakdown of some of the more interesting chapters in the book.

Chapter 3 . The Market threatens our Democracy.

Chapter 5.  The Fight Against the Talking Classes.

Chapter 8. DENK/THINK is a Typical PvdA Product.

Chapter 11. Bankers have us in a Strangle Hold.

Chapter 12. We are a nation of free thinkers.

Chapter 13. We are allowing ourselves to be deceived by Salafist’s.

Chapter  15. How Much Does a King Cost?

Chapter 23. Our Betrayal of Edward Snowden.

Chapter 24. The Netherlands and the Islamic Timebomb.

Chapter 25. Did I Orchestrate a Coup on Curacao?

 

In chapter three Van Raak  advocates against the present system of governance in the Netherlands. He asked rhetorically “what if we had real democracy? What if the people truly had the say? Then we wouldn’t have had the Euro.  We wouldn’t have had the European Constitution. Van Raak blames the present political system in Europe namely the European Union for the failing system of governance. He vehemently advocates for a post-EU Netherlands.

In the last chapter Van Raak wrote about the large scale theft 2011 of, sensitive material from the Curacao security and intelligence service, he also stated that the theft was also linked to Sint Maarten. It was intimated that the theft was likely the work of Colombians under orders from then Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte. Van Raak also names VDC official Lawrence Pietersz, George Jamaloodin, Casino boss Francesco Corallo and United People’s (UP) party leader Theo Heyliger. He said of Heyliger: “Heyliger is a powerful politician on Sint Maarten where he is called Theo ten percent. He claimed that Heyliger benefits from shady business”.  

The Second Chamber is not a Talkshow”, was published by Van Gennep and retails at 9.90 euros. Van Raak who is number 4 on the SP slate in the upcoming elections in the Netherlands, published two earlier books one in 2012 and another in 2015.