RSS seizes close to $20m
The Regional Security System (RSS) has been making a big dent in the pockets of criminals.
Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force Colonel Glyne Grannum yesterday revealed that through the RSS’s Asset Recovery Unit (ARU), close to $20 million had been seized by courts within RSS jurisdictions as of September 2017.
Delivering the main address during a closing ceremony of the RSS’s Prosecution of Drug Offences Course, Grannum said the RSS had also assisted in the seizure of almost US$90 million in criminal assets.
“As of September 2017, RSS ARU mentoring has assisted in the identification and restraint of US$88.3 million of criminal assets. Additionally, US$9.4 million has been civil forfeited by the courts in RSS jurisdictions using cash seizure provisions, with a further US$4.5 million seized and in the court process,” Grannum pointed out.
He said 231 money laundering investigations are underway, with over 90 persons charged with money laundering offences.
Saying that “a man should not profit from his own wrong”, Grannum urged the 14 police officers from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent who completed the four-week course to do their best to ensure those prosecuted were made to pay.
“This training adds another dimension to the RSS commitment and operations to better enable RSS police officers to prosecute drug offences. Once persons are arrested and the matter is before the court, the mandate is now yours to ensure that convictions are secured.
“I urge you to execute your role with a high degree of professionalism, determination, transparency and integrity within the laws of your member state,” Grannum said.
In lauding the RSS for its excellent work, the colonel pledged the BDF’s support to the regional institution.
He said while the RSS had made tremendous strides in fighting crime throughout the region, in many cases it was not recognised for its efforts.
“We do not always sufficiently recognise what the RSS is, how it has endured and its value. The RSS is a mode of cooperation, a model for sharing and much, much, stronger and much more developed than we sometimes give it credit for,” Grannum insisted. (RB)