National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, believes that there is a lot of cooperation between Saint Lucia and other territories, including the French Caribbean Islands, in the fight against drugs.
But he has explained that this country’s laws do not allow law enforcement officials the latitude they want.
“Sometimes we see things happening here in Saint Lucia and we allow it to go to another country, because our laws sometimes here do not allow us the latitude or leeway we want,” Francis explained.
“For example, if you were to look at drugs coming via boat and the police intercepted the boat and those drugs were thrown overboard, then the police have no case. But in Martinique – in the French territories, as long as the police can go to court and give evidence that they saw you throw these matters overboard, the court will hold you responsible and convict you,”he said during an interview earlier this week.
The former Deputy Police Commissioner stated that laws are different depending on the jurisdiction.
“The standard of proof or the burden of proof is different,” he asserted.
According to the minister, it is left to Saint Lucians to decide what burden of proof they want enshrined in the law.
Francis spoke in the context of a massive arms an drugs bust in Martinique recently, in which two Saint Lucians were reported to have been among nine individuals arrested.
According to news reports in Martinique, the arrests were the result of a ten-month probe involving law enforcement authorities in Martinique, Venezuela and Saint Lucia.
In addition 11,000 euros in cash, 130 kilos of cocaine and vehicles, the investigators also confiscated an ‘impressive’ amount of firearms, according to reports.
Martinique 1 Ere said the weapons included military-style assault rifles, more than 17 automatic pistols, revolvers and 35 kilos of ammunition.
According to the publication, investigators believed that the weapons were intended for resale.