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

No Benefits For Drug Or Money Laundering Offences

No Benefits For Drug Or Money Laundering Offences

No Benefits For Drug Or Money Laundering Offences

Regional Security System | Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Director of the Regional Security System’s Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU), Grenville Williams, issued a call for the officers to work in collaboration with other law enforcement officials in an effort to deprive offenders of any possible benefits. 

Persons who have committed drug or money laundering offences should not have an opportunity to benefit from their crime.

This was the view of Director of the Regional Security System’s Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU), Grenville Williams, as he recently delivered remarks at a closing ceremony for a Drug Prosecution Course for police officers from RSS Member States.

Mr. Williams issued a call for the officers to work in collaboration with other law enforcement officials in an effort to deprive offenders of any possible benefits.

“Let us do our job in an efficient fashion by incorporating proceeds of crime and asset recovery as an integral component of our investigations and prosecutions. Seizing and destroying illegal drugs, imposing fines or custodial sentences on a person are important but we can ensure that these individuals’ nefarious activities are disrupted and they are dissuaded from continuing their life of crime by aggressively targeting the trophies obtained from crime,” the Director asserted.

He also advised the future prosecutors that there other important qualities that should be adopted as they venture to seek justice.

“Your continuous professional development must be coupled with dedication, commitment, high ethical standards and an unwavering quest to apply the highest level of professionalism to your daily engagements… Always be willing to share your knowledge and experiences, be open to learning from others, while at all times, remembering that which we do involves and impacts real flesh and blood human beings, whether these persons are victims of drug abuse, the perpetrators or facilitators through money laundering or other means,” Mr. Williams appealed.

Also sharing those sentiments was High Court Judge, Justice Christopher Birch, who stated that one of the important qualities of a court prosecutor was the ability to listen. He noted that misheard evidence would determine if a trial was a success or a failure.

“Listen to the officers who brief you on the evidence and prepare the files. Listen to the witnesses who need your guidance and support. Listen to the victim of crime who needs to know that you know what you are doing. Listen to the judicial officer who will rely upon you to repeat or clarify something said or done. Above all, listen to your gut instinct,” Justice Birch advised.

He further pointed out that prosecutors should remain focused on their main goal which is to “search for justice”.

“No prosecutor I ever met wanted to solely lock up everyone, all wanted to achieve the result of exposure of truth without fear or favour. Seek above all to uncover the truth when you’re conducting your case. Do not conceal evidence that is adverse to your case… Do not reveal evidence that serves to solely embarrass the witness or the accused but does not assist the case,” the High Court Judge warned.

Justice Birch appealed to the officers to use the knowledge gained as a “springboard to higher opportunities” and challenged them to move on to the next level as legal practitioners if they desired.

RSS