Drugs concern

Barbados’ failure to develop and implement a National Anti-Drug Plan, its response to corruption and treatment of firearm matters is concerning a major regional organisation of which the island is a member.

The Organisation of American States and its associate the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission has released a report indicating what they considered the island’s shortcomings on these matters.

They were giving an update on Barbados implementation of 12 recommendations related to the subject area and using a “multilateral evaluation mechanism”.

“Barbados has yet to develop and approve its National Anti-Drug Plan which has been outstanding since the Second Evaluation Round 2001-2002,” the report stated.

It also said the country “has not commenced implementation of the recommendations to accede to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, 1992, to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, 1996, to implement an integrated procedure to monitor and prevent the diversion of pharmaceutical products, and to establish a national registry for the importation, exportation and transit of, firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related materials”.

Officials noted that between 2007 and 2009 during a “fifth evaluation round”, Barbados “was assigned 12 recommendations, seven of which were reiterated and five are new”.

“Of the 12 recommendations assigned, one was completed, progress was made on six and no action was taken on the remaining five,” report said.

“Barbados completed the recommendation pertaining to the conducting of research and training activities for its law enforcement officers related to the prevention and control of illicit traffic of pharmaceutical products and other drugs via the internet.

Progress was made in implementing specialised training courses for law enforcement officers, to address illicit drug trafficking, and in the enactment of the Transnational Organised Crime (Prevention and Control) Act which gives effect to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, 2000,” it added.

The report also pointed out that Barbados “has drafted and presented before Parliament, anti-corruption legislation to give effect to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, along with a Minimum Standards of Care Protocol for Specialised Treatment Facilities”.

“The country is also amending its Drug Abuse Act to cover the control and diversion of chemical substances and made progress in implementing specialised training courses to address illicit drug trafficking for law enforcement officers,” it stated.

One concern, however, was that while Barbadian officials had reported “that some investigative techniques are available in the investigation of money laundering cases”, the OAS and company were concerned that “there is no legislative framework to support controlled deliveries or sentence reduction for cooperating witnesses”. (SC)

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