SURINAME-CRIME – Several terrorism suspects arrested in Suriname

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PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Jul. 27, CMC – The police in Suriname have arrested several individuals suspected of being involved in terrorism activities.
Among the five suspects believed to be Muslim, who were nabbed Sunday are two Dutch nationals, allegedly brothers.
arrestsIt is the first time ever that individuals were arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities. Recently the country’s Criminal Code was amended to cover terrorism and financing of terrorism.
Sources indicate that one of the suspects is the son-in-law of Ronnie Brunswijk, a Member of Parliament.
Brunswijk confirmed that his daughter who was riding in the same car as the said suspects was also arrested, but since has been released.
“My daughter was in the same car with the man with whom she shares a relationship, but meanwhile she has been released by police. Police have told me that she’s not a suspect. She was released because she had nothing to do with the matter”, he told local media.
The Ministry of Justice and Police in an official statement claim that so far there is no indication that the suspects were targeting a specific embassy or foreign interest.
However, it’s alleged that US ambassador Edwin Nolan was the target in an assault that was being planned.
The US embassy declined to comment, referring all questions to Surinamese authorities. According to the Surinamese authorities no foreign agencies provided intelligence which has resulted in the arrests.
“According to the available information, these suspects would carry out activities that are in violation of acts listed in the Criminal Code on terrorism”, said the ministry of Justice and Police. “It should also be stipulated that the actions taken in Suriname were not based on information and intelligence obtained from any foreign service or country. Until now, facts and circumstances and inquiries have not yet revealed that the suspects were a threat to any mission or embassy here”, the ministry added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands claims that so far they do not have information about the arrested Dutch suspects. “We are trying to find out what is going on”, a spokesperson told Dutch media.
The national office of the Public Prosecutor is also unaware of what is happening in Suriname. “It’s a Surinamese investigation”, a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile the parents of the two Dutch men hired lawyer Raoul Lobo on Monday to represent their sons.
The suspects are being held at a secret location and until now lawyers and family are being barred to have any contact with the suspects.
In an interview with Radio ABC, Lobo said that “everything is very secretive now. We don’t have more information than what we read in the media”.
He argued however that Suriname’s anti-terrorism legislation is insufficient to tackle terrorism related activities and crimes properly.
He claims that there are no provisions to allow authorities to act against suspects when terrorist plots are in an early stage of planning.
“In Suriname, the police can only intervene if there is a reasonable suspicion of guilt. In the Netherlands for example, you can intervene in a much earlier stage and that is of great importance in order to be successful at some point. The legislation should be updated”, said Lobo.

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