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

RSS Asset Recovery Unit Exceeding Targets

RSS Asset Recovery Unit Exceeding Targets

RSS Asset Recovery Unit Exceeding Targets

Regional Security System | Monday, November 2, 2020

From left to right: Head of the Regional Security System Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU), Grenville Williams; Executive Director of the RSS, Captain Errington Shurland; UK Development Director for the Caribbean, Stefan Kossoff; and British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Her Excellency Mrs Janet Douglas pose for a photo to to commemorate the enduring partnership between the UK and RSS. (Photo courtesy British High Commission)

Through the efforts of the Regional Security System’s Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU) some US $26.8 million of criminal assets have been identified and restrained, while approximately 120 money-laundering investigations are being undertaken.

This was brought to the fore during a plaque unveiling ceremony at the RSS’ Fusion Centre at Paragon, Christ Church, which was held to mark the transition of the RSS ARU from a UK-funded project to an integrated department of the RSS.

British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Her Excellency Janet Douglas, lauded the department for its work in ensuring that criminals are not allowed to keep the illicit gains of their criminal activities. She also noted that with the ARU’s achievements came the realisation that it was necessary for the RSS to assume responsibility for the ARU’s operations.

“I want to commend Captain Errington Shurland, Executive Director of the RSS, for his governance and stewardship over the ARU since its formation in December 2015. I must also commend his team for their hard work and personal commitment to the growth and sustainability of the ARU.

“The simple fact that the RSS Member States took on responsibility for the ARU, demonstrates its perceived value and importance to the region. We are proud of the contribution that the former UK Department for International Development (DFID) made towards this vital work on asset recovery across the Eastern Caribbean. We look forward to the continuation of a close partnership between the RSS and the UK under the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO),” the British High Commissioner maintained.

With reports showing that US $7.5 million has been forfeited by the courts and an additional US $4.5 million has been seized and is in the court process, the RSS ARU continues to exceed its performance targets and make its stamp on the fight against serious organized crime and corruption.

Through the years, the RSS ARU has worked to build capacity and capability within regional law enforcement agencies and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). It has provided mentoring on live cases; facilitated training for law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners in financial investigations and asset recovery; raised awareness of the magistracy and judiciary; regularly engaged with and provided advice to stakeholders; advocated for and aided in the implementation of standardised and updated Proceeds of Crime legislation across the seven RSS Member States.

RSS 

RSS ARU Hosts Civil Cash Seizure, Detention And Forfeiture Webinar

RSS ARU Hosts Civil Cash Seizure, Detention And Forfeiture Webinar

RSS ARU Hosts Civil Cash Seizure, Detention And Forfeiture Webinar

Regional Security System | Friday, October 16, 2020

The Regional Security System’s Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU), hosted a Webinar series with a training workshop on Civil Cash Seizure, Detention and Forfeiture. (Stock photo)

Cash seizure, detention and forfeiture are effective mechanisms used to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains, and enhances the region’s security, stability and well-being. 

To this end, the Regional Security System’s Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU), hosted a Webinar series with a training workshop on Civil Cash Seizure, Detention and Forfeiture. This training was delivered to law enforcement officers, financial investigators, customs officers and representatives from the Directors of Public Prosecutions and Attorney General’s offices drawn from across the seven RSS Member States.

The event examined and facilitated the sharing of best practices in investigating, managing and prosecuting civil cash seizure, detention and forfeiture matters. It also presented an opportunity to review cash seizure policies, present case studies and discuss recent cash seizure trends and patterns.

Discussions revolved around challenges pertaining to data and evidence collection, statistics and finding solutions to procedural challenges in investigating and prosecuting cash seizure cases. Participants welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with their regional and international counterparts who are involved in the fight against organized crime and corruption.

The panel of expert presenters at the webinar was drawn from the Financial Intelligence Units of the RSS Member States, CFATF, CARICOM IMPACS, Jamaica, France and the UK.

The RSS ARU provides technical assistance to the Member States through mentoring on live cases, providing training to law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners in financial investigations and asset recovery, providing legal advice, regularly engaging with stakeholders and advocating for standardized proceeds of crime legislation across the seven RSS Member States.

RSS ARU

Vacant Posts For Financial Investigations Adviser and Legal Adviser

Vacant Posts For Financial Investigations Adviser and Legal Adviser

Vacant Posts For Financial Investigations Adviser and Legal Adviser

Regional Security System | Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Asset Recovery Unit of the Regional Security System (RSS) is inviting eligible persons to apply for the vacant posts of Financial Investigations Adviser (FIA) and Legal Adviser (LA).

The deadline for submission of applicationsbis Monday, February 17, 2020.

Full details on the position of Financial Investigations Adviser may be obtained here, while details on the post of Legal Adviser may be obtained here.

Regional Security System 

 

St. Kitts And Nevis Passes Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019

St. Kitts And Nevis Passes Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019

St. Kitts And Nevis Passes Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019

Regional Security System | Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Attorney General of St. Kitts & Nevis, Senator the Honourable Vincent Byron. (Photo courtesy SKN Vibes)

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has strengthened its legislative framework that targets the financing of illicit activities through the passage of the Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019 in the National Assembly on Thursday, January 23.

Mover of the bill, Attorney General, Senator the Honourable Vincent Byron, noted that the main aim behind Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019 is “to provide a robust and comprehensive system that would not just focus exclusively in taking criminals off the street but would critically provide a legal basis for identifying and removing the assets or proceeds of crime from the hands of the perpetrators of unlawful acts.”

The Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019 bolsters the 20-year old Proceeds of Crime Act Cap. 4.28 which provides for the freezing, forfeiture, and confiscation of the proceeds of crime; to create new offences and procedures for the purpose of forestalling and preventing money laundering, and to enable the enforcement of overseas freezing, forfeiture, and confiscation orders; and to provide for related or incidental matters.

The Attorney General said, “It strengthens the Act that existed for the last 20 years that is being used by the prosecutors of criminals by going to the High Court to get orders to seize the proceeds of those who have been convicted for criminal activity. What [the Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill, 2019] will do is introduce a new section that deals with the seizure or confiscation of assets through a civil process.”

The minister added that this new piece of legislation gives authorities an additional tool to investigate what he termed as “unexplained wealth,” noting that it “reinforces our fight against money laundering, it strengthens our fight against terrorist financing and other types of nefarious activities.”

AG Byron further stated that the Proceeds of Crime and Asset Recovery Bill is reflective of the work of the Asset Recovery Unit of the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS).

According to the official RSS website, the criminal assets recovery programme is an innovative approach to tackling serious organised crime in the Caribbean common law jurisdictions, through partnership and the robust application of proceeds of crime and money laundering legislation.

(Reposted from SKN Vibes)