Good morning. I am very pleased to be with you today.
I want to recognize Humphrey Tjin-Liep-Shie, Chief of Police, and the Head of the Forensics Unit Patrick Tjin Liep Shie.
The United States is pleased to work with Suriname and other Caribbean nations to increase public safety and security, and strengthen law enforcement capacity.
We are proud to contribute the state-of-the-art Automated Fingerprint Information System (or AFIS) to police authorities.
We are confident the AFIS system will assist them in solving and preventing crime, and catching criminals.
This is the first time Suriname’s police have been able to use such technology.
The AFIS system gives the police force a much improved tool to accurately identify suspects to help solve crimes. AFIS is already helping police pursue a number of previously cold cases.
This system not only contributes to Suriname’s citizen security, it also contributes to regional security.
Over the last three years, the United States worked hand-in-hand
with our Caribbean partners to install this same system in a number of countries.
In the Eastern Caribbean, nations are already realizing the benefits of this system. In less than one year, AFIS helped police in Grenada make 57 arrests resulting in seven convictions so far.
In one case, police made an arrest after the postal service reported a suspicious package, which they suspected contained illegal drugs.
The police recovered prints from the package and ran them through the AFIS system, resulting in a positive hit on a known drug dealer. Police arrested him and the case is currently before a court of law.
Transnational crime cannot be defeated by individual countries, but requires a combined effort.
This AFIS system enables Suriname to share data with other Caribbean countries.
Criminals cross borders to commit crimes and the AFIS system helps police identify and arrest them.
The United States supports a range of law enforcement, rule of law,
and justice sector institutional development projects to deepen regional security cooperation.
The AFIS project is only part of our work with Suriname to improve citizen safety by working together.
We look forward to continuing our cooperative relationship with Suriname and other countries in the region.
We will continue working with the police force to offer training in evidence collection and crime scene investigation to insure the best possible use of this system.
But we realize that, as Chief Tjin Liep Shie often says, police alone cannot solve a country’s crime problem. That’s why we talk about “citizen security.” It is also vitally important to promote development
to give young Surinamers the education and training that leads to bright futures. So the United States is also proud to fund the “A Ganar” and “Kari Yu” youth development projects.
We are also working on projects which will support young Surinamers who commit criminal offenses, to help put them back on the right track.
I wish the police all the best in their work to improve the safety of all Surinamese citizens by accurately identifying arresting suspected criminals so that they can be fairly judged by your courts of justice.
The United States is proud to be Suriname’s partner in this effort.