Van Dijk pleased with stricter checks on arms dealers

27 March 2013

Van Dijk pleased with stricter checks on arms dealers

Permits to export weapons can henceforth be refused in the event of doubts over the integrity of the applicant. The Senate yesterday signalled its assent to this enhancement of the law, whose name translates as ‘Promoting Integrity Assessments by the Public Executive’ and which is known by its Dutch acronym BIBOB. SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk has been urging the move for some time.

'Arms dealers’ integrity must be established beyond any doubt,’ insists Van Dijk. ‘That’s why I’m delighted with this enhancement of powers. In addition it will become more difficult for underworld figures to meddle in this extremely sensitive trade.’

Two years ago Van Dijk put a series of parliamentary questions regarding the granting of an arms export licence to a person suspected of trafficking in narcotics, and who was indeed eventually arraigned for the crime and convicted. At that time there turned out to be no legal basis to refuse a licence to a person who did not have such a conviction. 'BIBOB makes it possible to refuse a licence where there are strong suspicions that it will be misused for criminal activities,’ Van Dijk explains. ‘Take the example of money laundering. In the first instance my suggestion that BIBOB be broadened to deal with this was rejected. Happily greater understanding has led to its adoption.’

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