U.S. and Suriname deepen cooperation in fighting transnational crime

On Thursday, April 8, 2021, U.S. Ambassador to Suriname Karen Lynn Williams joined Suriname’s Minister of Justice and Police Kenneth Amoksi and Attorney General Roy Baidjnath Panday to sign an agreement to expand law enforcement cooperation between the two nations.

The agreement allows the U.S. Embassy and Suriname to access additional funding from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) for future projects aimed at strengthening law enforcement and counter narcotics efforts in Suriname.

This is not a new partnership, as the two countries have a long history of cooperation in this arena. Since 2017, more than 100 Surinamese police officers have benefited from training by the U.S. The U.S. has also provided speedboats and bicycles to Suriname’s national police. The U.S. also helps fund the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, which trained Suriname’s Port Control Unit. And the U.S. has also provided $600,000 to Suriname’s anti-money laundering efforts, funding the National Risk Assessment which helps guide future policy development.

The newly signed agreement allows for further expansion of that historic cooperation.

“The United States is committed to deepening our relationship with Suriname,” Ambassador Williams said. “Today’s agreement is just one more step in that direction.”

The agreement to increase cooperation in the fight against transnational crime is just the latest sign of the deep relationship between Suriname and the U.S. In just the last year alone, the U.S. has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the fight against Covid in Suriname; expanded virtual exchange opportunities over the past year have allowed more Surinamese civil society leaders to gain knowledge and insight from their U.S. peers; and a historic first visit to Suriname by a U.S. Secretary of State last summer was followed by other high-level delegations.