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Police to convert criminal assets

Government is hoping that it can seize sufficient assets of convicted criminals to finance its crime-fighting programme.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite last evening piloted the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund Bill 2016, which he said went further than previous legislation and sought to ensure where criminal activity allowed for confiscation of assets, these resources would be put into the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund and could be used in fighting crime.

Brathwaite said Government expected this to be a substantial source of funding in the battle against criminality.

“We are hopeful that the agencies would be so successful in terms of the confiscation of assets that there would be no need for them to come to the Consolidated Fund for assistance,” the Attorney General stressed.

He explained that nonetheless, there was provision for law enforcement agencies to continue obtaining traditional national budget funding if confiscated assets fell short.

Brathwaite spoke of seeing boats that had been seized lying idle at the Coast Guard Station for years until they were no longer usable.

“It is my hope that we will see the quick disposition of these criminal cases, and where applicable that these assets can be seized and utilized by us to ensure our greater security.

“We must take the profit out of crime where the opportunity allows us,” he insisted.

The Criminal Assets Recovery Fund Bill 2016, which was passed in the House of Assembly, seeks to ensure the continuation of the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund upon the repeal of the Transnational Organized Crime Prevention and Control Act 2011.

Opposition Member of Parliament and former Attorney General Dale Marshall supported the measure. However, Marshall felt it had not gone far enough because it failed to make provisions for compensation for innocent victims of illegal activity.

“If a CEO embezzles a large amount of money from a company, it would affect the shareholders, creditors . . . those individuals would then have to go through the civil procedure to try to recover; but we know that is very difficult,” Marshall said.

The Member of Parliament for St Joseph said that he knew of innocent bystanders who were injured because of drug trade activity, and asked why should there be no compensation for, “an individual who has been severely wounded, whether it is through gunshot, or chop-up?”

He also spoke of scenarios in which persons’ cars were stolen and destroyed in the course of illegal activity, but were left without compensation despite the fact that those responsible were convicted.

However, Brathwaite responded that while there was need for compensation of individuals in those circumstances, the administration was not yet fully prepared for such a measure.

“I accept that in the ideal situation, and in particular, the issue of criminal compensation for those who are injured, we will get there. Now is not the time.

“There are different methodologies that are in use, and given the infancy of our discussions I did not believe as Attorney General that we were in a position that we could bring a concrete proposal to parliament at this point in time,” he explained. 

4 Responses to Police to convert criminal assets

  1. Johnathan May 19, 2016 at 4:08 am

    They just not ready for anything and this legislation is so long over due. Now they come piece meal and as usual nothing substantial as he is incapable of bring a solid legal perspective to anything legal. The title QC that he carries means ‘ qualified cu#%…

  2. jrsmith May 19, 2016 at 5:26 am

    What is so sad a little island like Barbados with its top heavy non productive political infrastructure, cannot even put in place simple legistion which is deployed around the developed world to combat crime.. all our government do is try this try that see what works, this shows the weakness and laziness of our politicians with they don’t care attitude..
    You really must consider how educated we are, but to do what we cant govern our selves we cant do for ourselves, we are always in turmoil day after day the management of (BARBADOS LTD) is presenting itself to the world.

    Our government is frighten of bringing simple legislatures to police the security of Barbados why, because the measures would effect the wrong people … This ( Attorney General ) I don’t think he knows what his job is all about…

  3. Leroy May 19, 2016 at 6:59 am

    This is a slippery slope we have here, this government has instituted so many slippery slope issues,,for instance

    1. Land and solid waste tax, bra has recently moved to auction properties with back taxes,,i see some gov officials and businessmen would stand to profit off the backs of another, that system is ripe for corruption.

    2. This bill here – seizing of asset, how is government to determine legitimate assets from assets derived legally.

    3. Road tax accumulation on off the road vehicles thus making it impossible for road taxes to be collected and a enormous bill owed to gov which will have to be written off.

    4. Water bills levied against the property and not individual.

    5. Tipping fee

    6. Solid waste tax

    So many tax measures this government have tried to squeeze $ from the populace without one iota of evidence for generation of new income.

  4. BoBoThe Clown May 19, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Who has come up with this brilliant idea? Now, let’s see how they are going to enforce it.Is it going to be retroactive? i.e. Are they going to go after known criminals that they have never been unable to prosecute for years and years that have acquired they wealth during those years?
    The average Barbadian seem to be able to identify many of those who have ,and continue to acquire great wealth through criminal activities , but those in authority, Police, Judges, and yes the Attorney can’t seem to identify them, or refuse to identify those who have acquired more than they could have ever earned from legitimate work.
    Is it some smell of rats in the house? I wonder.


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