AG sees new way to tackle drug lords

Gercine Carter,

Added 24 October 2012

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Barbados may go after the ill-gotten property of drug kingpins by civil rather than criminal means. Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite said yesterday he favoured this method of civil forfeiture of illegally acquired property over the criminal route, “but we need to ensure as a jurisdiction that it is indeed constitutional and we are not in breach of any of our laws”. As he signed an agreement at his office with United States Ambassador Larry Palmer for US$458 000, part of which will go towards strengthening Barbados’ counternarcotics control capabilities, Brathwaite said: “I do not believe that anyone should be allowed to live in this country and display their ill-gotten gains without us using whatever apparatus we have at our disposal, within our laws, to ensure that it does not happen, because it does send the wrong signal to the rest of the community.” He said though there were existing procedures in place for criminal forfeiture of assets, “the whole area of civil forfeiture is one area that I would like to see us as a country move towards because I am slightly upset that you can be driving along and you can hear that that vehicle belongs to so and so and it may be proceeds of crime and because there is no criminal conviction, he and she may be able to drive along nicely in his or her community”. The Attorney General joined Palmer in the signing of an amended letter of agreement between the two countries for new funding to combat transnational crime and increase public safety under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).

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