NATIONAL Security Minister, Hermangild Francis has expressed concern that Saint Lucians who flout the law in Martinique and other countries are giving Saint Lucia a bad name.
“I am very concerned about that,” the minister told reporters Wednesday.
Francis described Martinique as “a special case” because of its location.
“Persons go there by boat and I have said many times before that we know for a fact that some of the firearms that are coming into this Island originate in Martinique,” he stated.
Francis also recalled having spoken about “a smuggling triangle” involving Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Martinique.
“A lot of Saint Lucians are in prison in Martinique and it is something we really have to address,” he said.
The minister explained that he has spoken to the French authorities with whom he held a meeting last year and disclosed that another meeting is scheduled for this year in Saint Lucia.
“I am still working on going to Martinique to speak to the authorities to see how we can monitor the influence of Saint Lucians being in Martinique and being able to transport firearms back into Saint Lucia,” Francis said.
He noted that previously, Saint Lucians were able to visit Martinique without any restrictions, “but currently there are certain requirements to be met.”
“It has affected our relations with the French authorities,” Francis declared.