name='p:domain_verify'/> *: CARIBBEAN NATIONS COMBATING NARCO-TERRORISM

Sunday, August 17, 2014

CARIBBEAN NATIONS COMBATING NARCO-TERRORISM


     Not long ago, the Programme Manager from the Caribbean Criminal Assets Recovery Programme and British High Commission, Eamon Kearney met with Barbados Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite. It was the start of a  workshop on Countering Terrorism and its Financing. 
     The workshop was held in Bridgetown, Barbados; it made it clear that international criminal networks, narco-terrorists and the threat of terrorism is lurking among the Caribbean nations. The Barbados attorney general, Adriel Brathwaite, emphasized that the region must pass legislation and conduct training to counter these threats.

 
     Brathwaite addressed the workshop on battling terrorism and its financing in the Caribbean, which was hosted by the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States and the government of Barbados. He stated that most don't believe terrorism has much to do with the Caribbean, that it's something you read about in other parts of the world.  
     But, the sad fact is that the Caribbean is becoming an integral part of the rest of the world; it is no longer isolated. As an example, he pointed out that, recently, individuals from Bulgaria were arrested and charged in a scam involving ATM machines in Barbados. Brathwaite warned that a failure to put the necessary systems in place and to conduct the required training would open the doors for his Caribbean nation to be exploited.
     Also Minister of Home Affairs, he emphasized that he will ensure the necessary legislative framework is in place to address issues such as terrorism, and to guarantee all personnel are trained to identify when the island’s facilities, whether corporate trust or banking, are being used for terrorist financing.
     He stated, “I just want to highlight that it has my overwhelming support because we can provide as much legislation in the world, but if you do not have the requisite training that legislation is of no use to you.” The participants, who included police and immigration officers, judges and personnel from the Central Bank of Barbados, listened attentively.
     Brathwaite also gave the commitment that his ministry would do all within its power to ensure that persons who benefit from the illegal proceeds of crime know that they will have their assets sought after.
     “I want to stop talking about it and start some serious action,” he stated.
     He added that he had seen two case studies which outlined how the Financial Intelligence Unit could be used as a catalyst to initiate investigations into criminal networks, and noted that it opened the door to see how Barbados’ resources could be better utilized to attack the proceeds of crime.
     Brathwaite warned his audience that, just as they were trained, so too are the terrorists and money launderers. He pointed out that they have their resources, possess the best brains possible, and make detailed plans on how they can get around our laws and get through our system.
     He stated, "For this reason, we have to work harder because we have less.”
     With the billions of dollars in illegal drugs passing through the Caribbean islands each year, I agree...Barbados has to work with less resources than his narco-terrorist enemy have.
     However, Brathwaite's government has enacted legislation aimed at preventing and detecting drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorist financing. The workshop
participants studied a range of topics, including the regional legal framework against terrorism and its financing, the universal legal framework against terrorism and its financing and confiscation and asset sharing.
     The Caribbean nations are recognizing that global terrorism will negatively affect them in the financial, moral and safety/security realms. I chose the video (below) because it brings out another important point- that is, with more Westerners flocking to the lovely Caribbean islands for relaxation, the possibility of "soft-target" attacks against them increases in this new age of ISIS and extreme offensive jihad. It's worth listening to.