“EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Make them explain wealth”

bloc-eric-editors-notebook

We don’t have freedom of information legislation, so the next best thing is to put the issues in the public domain with the hope of raising national awareness and getting answers.

There are people involved in serious criminal activity who have become wealthy from their ill-gotten gains. Their lifestyles betray them.

The lavish houses, the expensive vehicles, the high-end goods, the frequent travel and the type of lifestyle they can afford for their spouses sporting designer clothes and children going to the most expensive schools. Things simply do not add up. And sometimes, there are whispers; often, there is open bewilderment.

It would be good to hear from the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Major Crimes Unit of the Royal Barbados Police Force and even the Attorney General on exactly what headway has been made to stop these criminals in their tracks.

The public would like to know how much money the state has netted over the past decade from people involved in criminal activities such as drug dealing, fraud and human trafficking.

The public would be interested in knowing if any vehicles, boats, properties, cash and other assets such as jewellery, were seized during the same period and whether civil court orders were instituted.

Our authorities should explain how they intend to go after those people whose wealth cannot be explained, especially when there is no means of income which the Barbados Revenue Authority or an auditor can verify. (ES)