BU admit that while investigating our yesterday’s story it has been an eye opener. Often when we think of our system of justice we think of Law Courts and the police. The truth is there are many other groups that play a significant role to ensure that justice is delivered. Over past weeks BU have joined with Barbados Free Press in being heavily critical of the Commissioner of Police given the escalating crime and obvious corruption which has emerged across our society.
After presenting our discussion point yesterday BU think that other players in the legal system need to be brought into the firing line, namely the lawyers and the real estate agents!
BU have written extensively in the past about soft corruption. We find Barbados to be fortunate, among other Caribbean islands that none of our politicians have ever been accused in the law courts or the media of money laundering, or as some would say, financial misdeeds. We hear of other islands where high officials have been arrested and or convicted of such crimes. Can it be said that our top officials in Barbados must be either Saints or Gods and not subject to the failings and weaknesses of regular men. Barbados must truly be a paradise maybe even the Garden of Eden itself. Should we check our photos in the press for a halo over the head of Arthur’s and his disciples?
The Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) was given life when the Money Laundering (Prevention and Control) Act 1988-38 was passed. The AMLA is charged under the act to supervise financial institutions to prevent money laundering and it currently operates under the control of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
The AMLA is made up of nine members, drawn mainly from the key public sector agencies that relate directly to anti-money laundering activity.
The composition of the Authority is as follows:
- Chairperson – from the private sector
- Deputy Chairperson – from the University of the West Indies
- The Solicitor General, or representative
- The Commissioner of Police, or representative
- The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, or representative
- The Comptroller of Customs, or representative
- The Supervisor of Insurance, or representative
- The Registrar of Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property, or representative
- Representative of the Central Bank of Barbados
A question to the AMLA__can it be said that since the establishment of your Unit no significant arrest(s) and or prosecution(s) has ever been made?
BU have received several notes over the past weeks, some of which contain information which we are unable to verify. We wish to assure BU contributors that we will continue to process any information received in the interest of a better Barbados. We wish to assure BU contributors that we will continue to process any information received in the interest of a better Barbados.
Who are some of these top officials in Barbados who continue to escape the arm of the law?
BU have been told that two groups which are responsible for facilitating the scourge of money laundering are lawyers and real estate agents. We jump to add that in every barrel they are bad apples and it is the bad apples which BU seek to target. How many of our lawyers and real estate agents accept CASH payments from clients while having healthy suspicions that the source of the funds may have been ill-gotten or to avoid paying taxes. These two groups facilitate large transactions because they are key players in real estate transactions where large sums of monies are involved.
It continues to boggle our minds that money laundering, as in most countries, must be happening in Barbados, but entities like the AMLA which are setup as watch-dog agencies appear to be unable to detect the wrong doings. But then again maybe they are detecting but others have the responsibility to prosecute. What a BU source has confirmed__ Commissioner Darwin Dottin and the FIU have submitted many files to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The question which we must ask is why is it that the DPP has never been able to translate the files to “prosecutable cases”.
Of course we know the answer, not enough weighty evidence!
What is clear to BU is the inability or unwillingness _call it what you will_ to prosecute the ring leaders that head crime in Barbados. This has led to a situation where soft-corruption is propagating and taking root. Not only is it concentrated in the political arena but has firmly taken hold in the wider society. The role of the DPP like the Commissioner of Police MUST come under the microscope. Barbadians MUST start asking questions. How does the office of the DPP work? Is the office playing its role effectively given the changing landscape of how jurisprudence should be exercised in a modern society?
May God help us if we don’t take charge of our country!