A missed opportunity for the Antilles for not trying the pirates herself

Th Netherlands reacted positively on a request to try the five Somali pirates, that on high seas in the Gulf of Aden tried to hijack the ship Samanyolu that sails under the Antillean flag, in the Netherlands. Chairman of CvO, the Committee Ship’s incidents, Lex Gonzales says that by leaving it to the Netherlands to try these pirates , The Netherlands Antilles have missed a formidable opportunity judicially, economically, and publicity.

It’s true that same as Dutch registered sea-going vessels, the Neth.Antilles registered ones sail the Kingdom flag (red-white-blue), But according to him, that doesn’t mean that the Neth.Antilles must be ‘happy’ with the fact that the Netherlands has taken the lead here by trying these pirates.

“Attacking an Antillean sea-going vessel by pirates, creates a gross slur on the Antillean legal order, even if the attack occurred in the Gulf of Aden. The Antillean judicial authorities Actions can and must take actions against that. The Neth.Antillean Criminal Code has the necessary penal clause regarding shipping- and aviation crimes. The crime ‘piracy’ makes conviction of these pirates possible to nine, twelve, or fifteen years imprisonment”, says Gonzales.

Competitive position
“Gonzales is of the opinion that by not trying the pirates self, the Antilles let the competitive position with the Dutch ship’s register go. After all, internationally the Netherlands shows that as flag-state, she takes actions against these violators of her flag, and the position of the Dutch ship’ register will definitely not get worse due to this. Same as the image of the Netherlands that as the small, but vigorous constitutional state helps maintain the international world order.”

If the Netherlands Antilles – and the Land Curacao in the future – wants to maintain the registration of sea-going vessels as a factor of economic interest and wants to build it out, it will make more sense if the Antilles would have kept this trial under our own control. “After all, that gives the clear signal inside as well as outside the Netherlands that as flag-state, the Neth.Antilles backs her sea-going vessels and their crew; that our country understands that it must also serve her own judicial and economic interests in these matters; and that Justice here in the Antilles is as capable of trying and convicting these international crimes, as the Dutch Justice.”

Indication competence
With in the back of his mind the national sensitivity around the ‘indication competence’ of the Dutch Justice-minister, Gonzales sees this ‘take over’ by the Netherlands as a missed opportunity. “Why haven’t we simply taken this opportunity to internationally proof ourselves judicially, but also in the Kingdom, and give our Country the advantage economically and publicity? What will the policy of our country be a next time if this happens again?

Next hijack
It may be is good to know that there is a triangle for maintaining the laws and treaties that prescribe the well functioning of the Antillean ship’s registration, and for the Antillean sea-going vessels to sail safely in all the seas of the world. That triangle is made up of the Shipping Inspection Neth.Antilles / Shipping Administration and Maritime Affairs, CVO-disciplinary committee, and the Judicial Power. “All that is left is the triangle deliberation on the approach, and the persecution of the next hijack-attempt of an Antillean sea-going vessel on high seas.

(Source: National newspaper Amigoe)


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