Welcome to 2023

The temptation to continue my Dolce Far Niente conduct is great.

It’s always difficult to shoulder the yoke after a period of rest & relaxation.

Rest & relaxation? BS.

I finished compiling my administration and delivered it to my star-accountant, yesterday.

Are you impressed?

Just before the holiday, the Tax Department let me know I owe Awg 2,636 from some unpaid routine, monthly, 2017 taxes.

I knew they were paid, but how can I prove it? The 2017 administration is in storage. My bank did not have 2017 on line, and my star-accountant thought that for a three-digit figure they could find it.

The Tax Department, he explained, is in a rush to collect all seemingly outstanding amounts before the end of the five-year period; produce the backups, or pay, by January 23rd, he added, mercilessly.

I dug the info up. They were paid. So now you know why I haven’t been writing in recent days, I made myself a cool Awg 2,636 from taxes that WON’T have to be paid.

I also received a stern notification about my need to register my business into the new UBO, ‘Beneficial Ownership Register,’ a fresh hoopla designed to nip money-laundering in the butt.

Register or suffer the consequence, said the  notification. The UBO, a just-created data base is asking for contact info, confirming the true identity of all company owners.

I rushed to prepare the materials. Alas, the Chamber oof Commerce, who already has all my information for the past decades, has NOTHING on its website. As is the custom, we hitched the cart in front of the horse, inventing procedures contrary to the normal effective sequence of events. Why don’t they design the web page FIRST, then tell us to register, instead of telling us to register, with zero specific instructions.

I was impressed however by the Police, the Coast Guard and the Marines, for their activity over the holiday weekend, capturing 23 illegals in three different incidences, drugs and probably weapons too.

The small crafts coming from Venezuela showed up on the radar and mobilized local law enforcement. 24ora posted great images of our ironed and starched, perfectly groomed and equipped men and women in blue wading in water up to the chests, at Spanish Lagoon, scouring the mangroves at Isla di Oro, and handcuffing all illegals, some of the repeat offenders, They were just deported, and came back.

The images of the disheveled Venezuelans, barefoot, not even a shirt on their backs, cuffed in pairs, led into police wagons on their way to detention, is a very sad and moving reality of the have-nots from across the sea.

I could not help but feel for their despair. But they underestimated Aruba’s vigilance. Law enforcement here wasn’t sleeping off the hang-over, it was out in force.

Compliments to the new Alto Commisario, Drs. Ramon Arnhem, who was in the trenches with his people. Our new chief of police was sworn in, in August; he is the 8th Chief of Police since status aparte – we’ve had some short lived careers. He came here from the Netherlands where he serves on the force, but has obviously ties to the islands since he speaks heavily accented Papiamento, but is most comfortable in Dutch. He was selected by a nominating committee after an extensive, transparent search, says a press release.

The chief hasn’t given many interviews. Recently he talked about the need for more technology and innovation, in view of cybercrime and the evolution and proliferation of criminal activity. This weekend he gave a short interview thanking his peers for their excellent collaboration yielding successful captures. He looks tough, he sound capable. We wish him a long and decorated career.

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January 04, 2023
Rona Coster