BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday March 13, 2019 – The Barbados government will be introducing legislation to allow it to confiscate the property of criminals who commit a wide range of offences, not just those convicted of drug or terrorism-related crimes.
And a portion of the monies confiscated from such proceedings will go towards a regional account to help the Caribbean’s fight against crime, while the rest would help fund law enforcement in Barbados.
The disclosure was made yesterday in Parliament by Attorney General Dale Marshall who said the new Proceeds and Instrumentalities of Crime Bill 2019 will also make way for the prosecution of offenders who got rich off ill-gotten gains within the last 20 years.
He explained that the legislation is intended to “strike at essentially those assets that are in the possession of the criminal element of our country, where those assets are either themselves the proceeds of crime or are intended or have been used in the commission of crime or in unlawful conduct”.
A Proceeds of Crime Act, enacted in 1990 and amended in 1998 and 2002, remains in effect. But Marshall said it has deficiencies that the new legislation will address.
“The Proceeds of Crime legislation that we have today in Barbados and that has been here for the past 29 years, was focused solely on proceeds from drug crime or terrorism-related crime….If you put terrorism associated issues aside, effectively we look only at proceeds of drug-related crime. Now that is a glaring deficiency,” he said.
The Attorney General said that beyond drug and terrorism-related activities, the Proceeds and Instrumentalities of Crime Bill 2019 will cover proceeds from corruption, money laundering, racketeering, and other crimes.