Monday 16 September, 2019

Barbados not immune to money laundering, terrorism

AG Dale Marshall (FILE)

AG Dale Marshall (FILE)

Attorney General and Member of Parliament, Dale Marshall scoffed at the idea that Barbados is untouched by money laundering.

Refusing to bury his head in the sand on the likelihood of money laundering in Barbados, he said we must work on amending and upgrading our money laundering laws.

That is in addition to our anti-terrorism and terrorism financing legislation. And he said this is in keeping with the expectations of the intergovernmental body the Financial Action Task Force and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, which act as watchdogs to ensure anti-money laundering measures are in place and enforced within member states such as Barbados.

“Whether we like it or not we have to amend our laws so that we meet those international obligations because we are now in an environment where we are dealing with the global movement of money.

“And if we think that Barbadian companies or Barbadian banks are not being used for money laundering, think again. Think again! And it’s not just the locals involved in activity, that are doing money laundering, more than that, but it is also people using our jurisdiction because they feel that we are not as focused, that we are not as tight on supervision so you can get away with something in Barbados; send something through Barbados without it adequately being scrutinised.

“So that requires us to ensure that we have modern laws on those areas, even though our risk is low,” he said.

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Highlighting the terrorist plot which almost foiled Trinidad’s Carnival this year, he said that anti-terrorism legislation cannot be ignored either.

“Terrorism is not something that Barbados thinks about ordinarily, we just don’t. We have not had any bombings in our Capital, we’ve not had any cars driving through crowds seeking to maim and kill, we’ve not had, but the fact is we are in a globalizing environment where terrorists and terrorist suspects are operating in neighbouring Trinidad, neighbouring Trinidad. Only this year there was a report of a terrorist plot to disrupt Carnival - it was a credible threat, it was looked into, it was fully investigated and people were even taken into custody and this is in Trinidad – 45 minutes away by plane.

“We must not think because we are a small island hardly that we will not at any time fall onto the radar of terrorist suspects. We may. So even though terrorism is not something that we get up every morning and worry about, we still are obligated to have laws that effectively allow us to deal with it - plain and simple,” he stressed.

Marshall was leading off the debate for the Law Revision and Law Reform Bill, 2018, in the Lower House today, Tuesday, October 9, 2018. He said that this is not one of the "sexy" pieces of legislation but it is an integral cog in the wheel as this BLP-government continues to work to transform Barbados and place it on a growth path.

 

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