PHILIPSBURG--National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Christophe Emmanuel said on Sunday that members of Parliament’s Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-Parliamentary Relations (CKAIR) should raise the issue of the discovery of a drug lab in the yard of a Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) affiliate’s yard, during the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultations IPKO, which starts today in St. Maarten and continues until January 11.
Emmanuel alluded to the recent discovery of one of the largest Dutch drug labs found in the yard of the treasurer of the Dutch CDA party for region Heeze Leende Sterksel. This led to the arrest of Wim van der P. (51) with his wife and son on their farm at Hoogeindseweg in Leende. The party has since relieved Van der P. of his position.
Emmanuel said that while some Dutch politicians are quick to label St. Maarten as having an underworld, they have been very silent on this and other drug-related issues involving the Dutch.
“Seeing that IPKO is starting on Monday, and there would be a number of MPs from the Netherlands here in St. Maarten, I am trying to figure out how the conversation and discussions will go especially with those who support the coalition in government, seeing that the largest drug factory in the Kingdom was found in the yard of the treasurer of the CDA Party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and MPs like [Ronald – Ed.] Van Raak and [Andre] Bosman, are supporting the coalition,” Emmanuel told The Daily Herald on Sunday. “We haven’t heard them speak out against this type of unlawful acts.”
Emmanuel said that as this issue concerns one of the largest drug factories in the Kingdom, one can assume that these drugs make their way into the Caribbean part of the region.
“And here you have two outspoken MPs and a number of individuals from the Second Chamber supporting the CDA and Mark Rutte and we haven’t heard anything. This is outrageous,” he said.
“We see these individuals who would point their finger at St. Maarten, especially when it comes to drug shipment, but here you see the largest drug factory of ecstasy in the Kingdom found in the yard of the treasurer of the CDA party – which speaks of the underworld and upper-world in the Netherlands – and persons who are supporting the Prime Minister will be here in St. Maarten and these talks will come out. I am taken aback that I am not hearing anything from these individuals.”
Emmanuel said also that there is a list of some 21 persons from the Dutch VVD party, who he said are “caught up in criminal activities.” He also alluded to drugs that were found in a container in the Netherlands that had been loaded by marines in St. Maarten, about which Dutch politicians were also silent.
“I intend to be present at every IPKO meeting because I think it will be interesting. I think fireworks will go off. I think it is the right place where MPs can voice their opinions and concerns and, once and for all, we can set the record straight on the blacklisting that they have always given to St. Maarten.
“Here is where MPs from St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba meet to discuss and I intend to have a lot of discussions about St. Maarten and securing St. Maarten and having them see the resilience of St. Maarten in terms of building back after [Hurricane] Irma.”
A press release issued by the Parliament of St. Maarten on Sunday said that attendance at IPKO is strictly on invitation and MPs from St. Maarten who are not part of CKAIR have been invited to be present as observers.
Emmanuel said he would demand that CKAIR members raise these issues during IPKO “and if they are not bought up, even though I am not a member of the CKAIR, I will voice my opinion on these issues, especially the issues concerning drugs and the black name that they give St. Maarten in terms of the upper and underworld. I will voice my opinion regardless of whether I am a member of the CKAIR or not. I intend to be there and to bring up these issues with no apologies whatsoever.”