The parliament of Curacao is angry at Dutch Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs for announcing that the island will become a hub for humanitarian aid to Venezuela. The parliamentarians believe that the Minister put the island in a difficult position by making the announcement before Curacao's Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath could explain his plan to the population.
Venezuela closed the sea border between the province of Falcon and the islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This means that no shipping traffic is possible between Venezuela and the three islands. No reason was given for the closure, NOS reports.
Aruba is struggling to shelter thousands of asylum seekers from Venezuela, fleeing their country to escape poverty and political chaos. The island, which forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, already received more asylum applications than it can handle, ANP reports.
The Dutch government plans to make Curacao the "logistic hub" for humanitarian aid to neighbor Venezuela, Ministers Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Aid said in a letter to parliament. Representatives of the Dutch government, in consultation with the government of Curacao, will agree with the request from interim Venezuelan president Juan Guaidó and the United States to do so, the Ministers wrote, NOS reports.
A Dutch soldier was arrested at a night club on Curacao on Saturday night. He was caught with cocaine in his possession. The 24-year-old man was transferred to the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military, ANP reports.
The soldier in question worked as a sailor on the ship Zr. MS. Zeeland. The ship arrived in Curacao last week to combat drug trafficking at sea.
The Ministry of Defense has a zero tolerance policy on hard drugs. Soldiers caught with hard drugs face immediate dismissal.
The Public Prosecutor is prosecuting three soldiers for their involvement in a fatal diving accident on Curacao in 2015, in which a 23-year-old woman was killed. They are accused of violating service regulations and thereby creating a "life-threatening situation", the Prosecutor announced on Monday.
The soldiers facing prosecution are two men, aged 44 and 51 years, and a 49-year-old woman. They are all members of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
Someone stole a large amount of cocaine from a police lockup in Curacao. The drugs had previously been confiscated by the police. The theft from the police terrain was discovered on Sunday morning at around 9:00 a.m., NOS reports.
The perpetrators forced two large metal doors to get to the drugs. Exactly how much cocaine was stolen, the Public Prosecutor on Curacao would not to say to NOS.
Later on Sunday a burning truck was found on the island. The police believe it may have been used in the robbery.
The government of Curacao is denying fleeing Venezuelans their international right to asylum, according to a report Amnesty International published on Monday. The human rights organization calls on the Netherlands to intervene, ANP reports.
The government of Curacao released a statement distancing itself from statements Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs made about multicultural societies. The island's government "deeply regrets" the statements, because as foreign minister Blok also speaks on behalf of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The Surinamese government would like Blok to apologize for his statements.
A legislative proposal by PVV parliamentarians Sietse Fritsma and Machiel de Graaf to send criminal Antilleans back to Aruba, Curacao or Sint Maarten got no support from other parties in parliament. "This is not possible and we should also not want this", CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg said in a debate in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, NOS reports.
Navy corporal Iris Homan from Hengelo was found dead in a swimming pool on the island of Curacao on May 21st. Her husband Bart D., also a corporal in the Dutch navy, was arrested. D. is not suspected off murder or manslaughter, "but of a certain negligence that led to her death", a spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor on the island said to De Stentor.
Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire are dealing with many asylum seekers from Venezuela due to a humanitarian and political crisis in the country. The three islands, which form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, are getting too little support from the Netherlands in sheltering these asylum seekers, Aruban Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes said to NRC.
She called the Netherlands' attitude "too indifferent and irritating". Aruba is located less than 40 kilometers fro the Venezuelan coast. Around 5 thousand Venezuelans have already fled to the island.
A crew member of TUIfly was arrested at Schiphol Airport on Saturday on suspicion of drug trafficking from Curacao. The Koninklijke Marechaussee confirmed that someone was arrested, but would give no further details, the Telegraaf reports.
The Koninklijke Marechaussee is a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border control and airport security. "The investigation is ongoing", is all that a spokesperson would say to the Telegraaf.
Four dead bodies were found on the north-east shore of Curaçao on Wednesday. The coast guard identified the bodies as two men and two women from Venezuela who tried to emmigrate without permission and reach Curaçao by boat. A family relative of the victims told the news agency Reuters that the boat they were traveling on was carrying too many people, and a big wave broke the boat in two.
The population of Curaçao was forced to begin stockpiling food since neighboring country Venezuela announced a trade boycott with the Dutch Caribbean island on Friday. The trade ban also covered Aruba and Bonaire, all three of which rely heavily on the South American country's fruits and vegetables.
The European Union published its black list of tax havens. It consists of 17 countries the EU believes help multinationals and rich people avoid the tax authorities. The Netherlands does not appear on the list - no EU countries do. But Aruba and Curacao, which form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, were placed on a "gray list" - they have two years to implement promised improvements, or they'll be blacklisted, the Volkskrant reports.
Dutch navy ship Zr. MS. Zeeland intercepted a drug transport of 600 kilograms of cocaine on the Caribbean ocean on Sunday evening. To stop the traffickers, the ship's helicopter had to shoot out the outside motor of the speedboat the smugglers were using, ANP reports.
Three people were arrested. They've been transferred to the authorities on Curacao.
Saba and Sint Eustatius are anxiously awaiting Hurricane Maria, which is set to pass close by the islands in the course of the morning or early in the afternoon. Hurricane Maria increased in strength and is now considered a category 5 hurricane, the strongest category, with wind speeds up to 260 kilometers per hour, BNR reports.
King Willem-Alexander will visit Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba on Monday to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irma with his own eyes, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said on Curacao on Sunday afternoon, ANP reports.
Plasterk spoke with the press after visiting patients at the Sint Elisabeth Hospital, who were flown to Curacao after the hurricane to get medical treatment. Before that he and the King visited the meteorological service in Curacao and the Parera naval center.
Four people were killed and six others were injured in a shooting in Willemstad on Curacao on Monday night. The injured people were rushed to the hospital. The gunmen are still at large, AD reports.
According to broadcaster NOS, the shooting happened at a birthday party for two brothers in te Buena Vista neighborhood. Unknown gunmen drove up in a car and opened fire on a home with automatic weapons. The area is known for gang violence. Newspaper AD reports that the shooting happened at a bar annex small supermarket.
The court on Curacao sentenced pastor Orlando B. to nine years in prison for sexually assaulting three teenage girls and four young women. The court also banned him from working as pastor for 14 years, NOS reports.
The Public Prosecutor demanded 18 years in prison and a professional ban of 20 years against the man. He was charged with sexually assaulting a total of 10 women and girls. In three cases he was acquitted.
A 54-year-old pastor from the Rains of Blessing church on Curacao is standing trial for raping 10 girls. His youngest victim was 11 years old. On Wednesday the Public Prosecutor demanded 18 years in prison against him, and that he be banned from leading any church for 20 years, NOS reports.
The Curacao court convicted Burney F. and sentenced him to 25 years in prison for ordering the assassination of politician Helmin Wiels. The court considers it proven that F. gave the gunman the order to kill Wiels, NOS reports.
F. is currently imprisoned in the Netherlands for drug trafficking and money laundering. He 'attended' his trial on Curacao via a video stream. The court convicted F. based largely on statements by gunman Elvis K., who is currently serving life in prison in the Netherlands for his role in the assassination.
A large piece of coral near the island of Curacao was severely damaged. The perpetrator is believed to be construction company BAM, who is currently building a pier for cruise ships and other large vessels on the island, NOS reports.