Barbados Committed To Fighting Illicit Maritime Trafficking

Barbados Committed To Fighting Illicit Maritime Trafficking

Barbados Committed To Fighting Illicit Maritime Trafficking

Regional Security System | Sunday, May 22, 2022

Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Alies Jordan, and EU Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Malgorzata Wasilewska, as they signed the SEACOP MOU. At right is SEACOP’s Project Coordinator, Dominique Bucas, while looking on is Deputy Director of the RSS, Graham Archer and EU Representative, Luc Pazelt. (Photo courtesy T. Barker/BGIS)

Barbados has renewed its commitment to fight illicit maritime trafficking and protect our borders. This comes with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Expertise France/International and Ibero/American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy for the European Union (EU) funded phase five of the Seaport Cooperation Project (SEACOP).

The signing took place Friday at the Main Guard, St. Ann’s Fort, the Garrison.  Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Alies Jordan signed on behalf of government, while EU Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean (OECS) and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Malgorzata Wasilewska, signed on behalf of the EU.

In her welcome remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Alies Jordan, spoke of the importance of the SEACOP programme in building the island’s security infrastructure and achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 17 which speaks to partnership for the strengthening of the goals.

“Barbados is one of those countries that pays very serious and close attention to the execution of sustainable development goals. These goals we recognise, are akin to goals we have for ourselves in terms of the development trajectory of Barbados. So partnerships such as the one that we have here this afternoon between the EU and the government, on this particular programme, SEACOP, are very near and dear to us.”, Ms. Jordan stated.

Staff Advisor to the Chief of Staff, Commander Mark Peterson, thanked Ambassador Wasilewska for the continued interest in helping to promote the safety, security and stability of Barbados and the wider Caribbean region, through international partnerships such as SEACOP.

He maintained that the trafficking of illicit goods, including illegal drugs was mainly through transport by sea and concealment among legitimate cargo within containers or on cargo vessels, fishing boats and yachts.

Commander Peterson pointed out that inadequate port controls and general institutional weaknesses facilitated criminal activity and “enabled the intersection of illicit flows connecting ports in our region to ports in Africa and Europe that promote criminal networking”.

“This flexibility in transatlantic maritime trafficking is a fundamental reason why it is necessary to target trans-regional trafficking routes in a consistent, coherent and simultaneous manner,” the senior military official stated.

Mr. Peterson underscored the importance of partnerships in Barbados’ quest to be a zone of peace. “… We can never have enough friends, partners and allies in this never-ending quest to protect our islands and our reputation for being known as a zone of peace and stability. Certainly, regional and international criminal networks are also forging connections with the focused intent of destabilizing our way of life and destroying our children’s future through drugs, crime and violence.”

He continued: “That is why initiatives like SEACOP, and hopefully more like it, are always to be appreciated. For they send a clear message that those who believe in the triumph of good over evil, will always fight to protect our future.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Wasilewska acknowledged the threats posed to governments and societies by organised crime and drug trafficking. She suggested that governments must be aware of the challenges and “seek innovative solutions so that we can respond quickly and effectively to rapidly evolving trends”.

“In order to be that step ahead, we must join forces that go beyond local and national approaches, build a common agenda to forge effective regional and global responses and work together very closely in implementing them.  Building resilience of governance systems to resist organised crime and tackle associated risks is critical to security and development,” she underlined.

The Ambassador said the EU was deeply committed to addressing these issues through close cooperation and coordination with its regional partners evidenced by the assistance and programmes offered to the region.

SEACOP’s Project Coordinator, Dominique Bucas highlighted the need for  knowledge and sharing of intelligence with the agencies involved in the illicit drugs fight.

He said the organisation was keen to renew the partnership with Barbados and the signing of the MOU “is a way to register firmly about our common will to fight jointly in illicit trafficking.

SEACOP promotes closer ties between the Barbados Police Service, Customs and the Barbados Coast Guard, by combatting illicit maritime trafficking and associated criminal networks through maritime intelligence sharing.

The programme was implemented in Barbados in 2015.

JC/BGIS

RSS 40th Anniversary Celebrations Underway

RSS 40th Anniversary Celebrations Underway

RSS 40th Anniversary Celebrations Underway

Regional Security System | Tuesday, April 3, 2022

The Regional Security System will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and plans are underway to commemorate the milestone in a grand way.

Operating under the motto Strength through Unity, the RSS will unite its eight Member States through face-to-face and virtual events, to reflect on its journey since its inception in October 1982, and to charter a path for the future.

Coordinator of the anniversary celebrations, and Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance Co-ordinator, Keisha Linton, affirmed that the distance between Member States would not hinder plans to have an all-included celebration.

“While the RSS is divided by waters, the establishment is bound by the mutual goal of ensuring a secure region. And, just as we share this responsibility so too will we share in this achievement of attaining 40 years,” she stated.

The RSS official pointed out that there would be a number of projects designed to bring greater awareness to the role of the organisation, and expressed hope that ties would be created between the agencies under the its aegis and citizens of its Member States.

“Building relationships with our communities is extremely important to the RSS. Many people may not be aware of, or completely understand, what we do, but we intend to change that this year, and we hope that our efforts will increase cooperation between members of our team and members of the public,” Ms. Linton declared.

Among the six-month plans for the RSS’ celebration are a number of community outreach programmes; a Family Fun Day; the production of a documentary series on the RSS; a mural competition and internal team building actitvities.

More details on the events will be posted to the RSS’ website www.rss.org.bb and its Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube pages.

RSS

RSS Launches Cash Forfeiture Handbook And Cash Seizure Policy

RSS Launches Cash Forfeiture Handbook And Cash Seizure Policy

RSS Launches Cash Forfeiture Handbook And Cash Seizure Policy

Regional Security System | Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Director of the Asset Recovery Unit of the Regional Security System (RSS), Grenville Williams, presenting Deputy Commissioner of the RSLPF, Wayne Charlery, with the Cash Seizure Policy.

Crime does not pay!

This was declared by Director of the Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) of the Regional Security System (RSS), Grenville Williams, who stated that it was necessary to bankrupt persons involved in criminal activity, thus creating a hostile environment for crime.

Mr. Williams made these remarks at a brief ceremony which was recently held at the George F. L. Charles Airport in St. Lucia, where he officially handed over the Cash Forfeiture Handbook and the Cash Seizure Policy to the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).

He noted that the documents, which were a collaborative effort of the RSS ARU, the RSLPF and the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), were critical in combatting crime and enhancing citizen, national and regional security.

“Money is the lifeblood of individual criminals, criminal organisations and syndicates. The persons involved in drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, murder for hire, theft, and fraud are motivated by the financial rewards gained from operating outside the law. Our crime levels, our murder rate are all strongly influenced by the desire for unjust rewards from criminality.

“Cash seizure, detention and forfeiture have proven to be most effective in removing from the hands of criminals, monies obtained from crime or monies intended for use in crime. Depriving criminals of the monies that they so desire is a powerful disruptive and dissuasive weaponry in the artillery of law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners,” he asserted.

The ARU Director pointed out that seizing monies from criminals would not only dissuade others who may be enticed, but it could also strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.

“Cash seized and forfeited by the courts can serve as additional resources to the constrained budgets of law enforcement. Imagine using monies taken away from criminals to fund the training for police officers, pay for equipment to keep our communities safer, purchase vehicles that would enhance our capacity to patrol and implement crime prevention mechanisms, increase our response times whenever a call is placed to the police and ultimately deliver a better service in enhancing the peace and security of our nation,” Mr. Williams outlined.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of the RSLPF, Wayne Charlery, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with the RSS ARU in creating the documents and pointed out that they would “guide our officers in terms of execution in the field to direct the most effective tactical intervention to combatting organised crime.”

He stated that while there was no legislation in place to allow the proceeds of crime to be used for community development and upliftment of youth, it was a strategy he would wish to see employed.

Director of the FIA, Paul Thompson, also thanked the team and affirmed that the Handbook and Policy would not only serve to develop individual capacity building, but would enhance intra-agency cooperation among the various law enforcement agencies, which was crucial to the success which St. Lucia has experienced in forfeiture of criminal assets to date.

RSS

EU Officials Pay Courtesy Call on RSS

EU Officials Pay Courtesy Call on RSS

EU Officials Pay Courtesy Call on RSS

Regional Security System | Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Executive Director of the RSS, Commodore Errington Shurland, and Executive Director of CARICOM IMPACS, Lt. Col. Michael Jones (right), met with (L-R) EU Head of Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska; Deputy Director General, Directorate General for International Partnerships of the European Commission, Myriam Ferran; and Managing Director, Americas, European External Action Service (EEAS), Brian Glynn.

Management of the Regional Security System (RSS) and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS) recently received a courtesy call from officials of the European Union’s (EU) Headquarters in Brussels, at the RSS Headquarters.

EU Head of Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, introduced the Brussels team, comprising of Deputy Director-General, Directorate General for International Partnerships of the European Commission, Myriam Ferran; Managing Director, Americas, European External Action Service (EEAS), Brian Glynn; and Team Leader for the Caribbean, International Partnerships of the European Commission, Olga Baus,. Members of the EU Delegation Office also included Ovidiu Naftanaila, Felipe de la Mota and Luc Patzelt.

Executive Director of the RSS, Commodore Errington Shurland, and Executive Director of CARICOM IMPACS, Lt. Col. Michael Jones, outlined the various activities and roles of the two regional security organisations and highlighted initiatives currently being undertaken to reinforce security within the region.

Lt. Col. Jones highlighted the results of strengthened EU cooperation and noted the establishment of new offices within the Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC) of CARICOM IMPACS including the World Customs Organisation, the United Kingdom Liaison Office and the Interpol Regional Office.

Meanwhile, Commodore Shurland shared a number of current and emergent security matters which were affecting the RSS Member States, and the wider Caribbean. He emphasised that these trending security issues would steer the organisation towards strengthening strategic partnerships to help improve security of maritime borders and cyber space, as well as expand the support provided to RSS Member States in asset recovery, counter-terrorism financing and compliance with financial rules and regulations.

The presentations were keenly acknowledged by the EU party, who expressed an interest in deepening its relationship with the RSS in the future.

As part of the meeting, the visiting party toured the RSS Headquarters’ facilities, particularly the Digital Forensics Laboratory, the Asset Recovery Unit, and the RSS Air Wing.

RSS

CARICOM IMPACS Issues Request For Proposals

CARICOM IMPACS Issues Request For Proposals

CARICOM IMPACS Issues Request For Proposals

Regional Security System | Thursday, November 25, 2021

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), with funding from the Kingdom of Spain, is seeking to procure equipment for the Expansion of the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) in CARICOM Member States.

The objective of the project is to strengthen the security of the borders of the CARICOM Member States by expanding the existing Advance Passenger Information system (APIS) through improved technologies, capacity development and training.

Eligible tenderers are asked to submit both a technical and financial offer consistent with the Instructions to Tenderers included with this Request for Proposals notice. Documents must be submitted through the webshare link outlined in the Instructions to Tenderers provided, which may be viewed here.

The deadline for the submission of completed tender documents is January 21, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. (Local time – Trinidad and Tobago.)

CARICOM IMPACS