(July 2, 2008) On June 2, 2008, the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles approved amendments to the Penal Code, despite criticism from international organizations. The amendments provide for punishment of terrorist activities, funding of terrorism, and money laundering, in conformity with the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (New York, Dec. 9, 1999, available at http://www.un.org/law/cod/finterr.htm) and the implementation of the 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (The 40 Recommendations, http://www.fatf-gafi.org/document/28/0,3343,en_32250379_32236930_33658140_
1_1_1_1,00.html (last visited June 16, 2008). The maximum penalty for participation in and financing of terrorist activities and organizations under the revised Code is 24 years' imprisonment or life.
Several Members of Parliament – in particular Curaçao-based parties' political factions – had heavily criticized the government's pressure on the legislature for speedy approval of the amendments. They questioned “why the Netherlands Antilles had to approve such a law amendment if, according to the baseline study 'Crime and Upholding the Law in Curaçao and Bonaire,' there were no signs of terrorist activities taking place on the islands.” However, MPs gave their approval to the revisions based on the amendments' perceived importance for the financial sector. (Terrorist Activities Punishable by Law, THE DAILY HERALD (Sint Maarten), June 4, 2008, available at http://news.caribseek.com/Sint_Maarten/The_Daily_Herald/article_66196.shtml.)