Barbados’ fight against White Collar Crime part of a $1 million+ boost from the Bridgetown US Embassy

Many constables in Bermuda’s force hail from Barbados, they’re in search of better pay and conditions for the dangers they endure; both Brades and Port Of Spain sought Canadians as their senior ranking officers recently, while Turks & Caicos police force can appear almost like the French Foreign Legion for some…

{FILE IMAGE} If he listens to Mavado or Vybz Kartel ever again, you can only wonder how Hinds will feel? If he has a comment – would he be dottin’ his eyes or crossing his tees?

Combine this with both how Bertie Hinds just retired (probably frustrated) from the Royal Barbados Police Force and that same organisation’s senior officers are approaching retirement themselves, is it natural for Barbados to do like other islands and outsource? Adriel Brathwaite says “No Way;-”

I asked the Attorney General of Barbados about it shortly after he and United States Ambassador Larry L. Palmer just revealed an amended letter of agreement between the United States and the Barbados providing US$458,000 in new funding to combat transnational crime and increase public safety.

The official signing between the A.G. of Barbados and the U.S. diplomat at Brathwaite’s Wildey offices

Launched by President Barack Obama in 2009, CBSI has been the vehicle through which the United States has committed US$202 million to the region to reduce illicit trafficking and increase citizen security.

Here’s an edited transcript of Ambassador Palmer’s speech;-

CBSI is a partnership between the United States and the countries of the Caribbean under which we have agreed to share the responsibility for implementing our common vision for a safer, more prosperous Caribbean region.

Under CBSI, the United States and our Caribbean partners have pledged to seek durable, lasting security solutions through sustainable programs over which our regional partners take eventual ownership.

This agreement is one way in which the United States is making good on its promise. It provides US$125,000 to help deepen the professional skills of Barbados law enforcement, including the purchase of equipment, training, and the mentoring of Barbados personnel by their U.S. Government counterparts.

In the area of Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption we will be devoting slightly under US$150,000 to expand the capabilities of Barbados to operate prisons and correctional centers which are safe, secure, humane, and in conformance with international standards. We will offer our help to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of corrections officials to effectively manage a correctional system that contributes to public safety, combats transnational crime, reduces recidivism rates, and provides the prisoners with opportunities for reform and rehabilitation.

The American envoy added; “We are also devoting and additional US$131,000 toward strengthening counternarcotics control capabilities in Barbados. Under this program the United States will continue to offer training and equipment to enhance the ability of law enforcement to conduct investigations and interdict illicit trafficking.”

Our fourth area of cooperation outlined in this amended letter of agreement is in combating Money Laundering/Financial Crimes. We will be devoting an additional US$59,000 in new funding to increase training, technical assistance, mentoring and equipment for Financial Intelligence Units (FIU’s), the judiciary, prosecutors, and bank regulatory bodies. This is but one of a number of areas where we are partnering with Barbados – and making a difference.

Another area where we hope to see Barbados leadership in the future is through your government’s signing on to the Cooperative Sensor Integration Initiative (CSII). Five other Eastern Caribbean partner nations have already joined this important program, and we need Barbados to play its usual important role in the region.

CBSI partners agreed in the original Plan of Action to work together to develop and deploy a platform to share real-time information on air and sea traffic. The United States met its part of the bargain by developing CSII to integrate Partner Nations and the United States into a regional, web-based, unclassified information sharing system that spans air, maritime, and land domains.

CSII plays an important part in CBSI strategy by increasing the region’s ability to identify and interdict illicit traffickers.

But CSII will also play an important role outside of the counternarcotics. CSII will deepen air and maritime domain awareness by improving our joint ability to assemble, visualize, analyze and share real-time, actionable data. In that regard CSII will also help build Barbados capacities in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search and rescue.

Palmer summarises – “In closing, I want to mention several discussions my team and I have had with the Attorney General on his desire to implement a vigorous program of civil asset forfeiture in Barbados.

A recent major conviction in St. Vincent and subsequent higher court rulings in relation to that case have established an important precedent that it is legal in the Eastern Caribbean to civilly seize the illegal proceeds of drug kingpins and use those ill-gotten gains against them in the fight against transnational organized crime.

A critical part of disrupting criminal organizations is enhancing the capacity to disrupt and deter money laundering operations and other financial crimes. We stand ready in the coming years to do all we can to support Barbados in seizing the assets of drug cartels and putting the proceeds to use for law enforcement, prosecutors, drug abuse prevention, and drug treatment.

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