The Official launch of a Cash Courier Workshop organized by The UK Caribbean Criminal Assets Recovery Programme (CCARP), in conjunction with the United Nations Office for Drugs & Crime (UNODC) commenced on Wednesday 30th October 2013 at the Jolly Beach Resort. The workshop is an initiative geared towards the further the development of regional law enforcement officers.
The opening ceremony began with welcoming remarks from Lieutenant Colonel Edward Croft (Director of the ONDCP) officially recognizing the Honorable Dr. Errol Cort Minister of National Security, Mr. Earmon Kearney, Head of CCARP, Mr. Bernard Crossey + Mr. Edward Jonesfrom the UNODC, facilitators and Regional participants.
Lt Col. Croft highlighted the issues of drug trafficking faced by Law Enforcement locally, regionally and internationally. He noted that within our region there has been several recent cash seizures amounting to over EC $500,000.00 linked to activities of Human Trafficking and ATM scams. In addition he charged and encouraged the participants to maintain an uncompromising standard of integrity, commitment and professionalism in their various capacities to ensure and secure continual success within the varying organizations. He concluded his remarks by emphasizing the need to take the profit out of crime and use it for the improvement of the law enforcement agencies, and to improve the safety of their respective communities. He invited the participants to visit the National Food Fair and experience the local cuisine, good music and interact with our nationals, residents, visitors and several diplomats and overseas dignitaries visiting Antigua and Barbuda to celebrate with us on this our 32nd Anniversary of Independence.
The Head of CCARP, Mr. Eamon Kearney followed and he elaborated on the relationship between money and crime and then expounded on how by attacking and cutting the cash flow of criminals you can stifle, disrupt and halt their operation. It was within this context that he regurgitated how and why this workshop is necessary and beneficial to the participants in that they would be learning means and ways of taking the profit out of crime. He explained how cash forfeitures are resourceful in the further development of the law enforcement agencies, improving victims’ lives, improving the community and country’s standard of living by extension.
To the declare the workshop open the Honorable Dr. Errol Cort Minister of National Security in his remarks stated that he examined the historical progression of Antigua and Barbuda in the fight against financial crime. Dr. Cort also highlighted the success of the ONDCP and the recently formed Proceeds of Crime Unit within the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.
Additionally, Minister Cort highlighted a communication gap within the region and subsequently emphasized the need for greater collaborative efforts in the conveying of timely information because of its vitality to the success of our homogenous concerns. To close he reminded the participants that the true measure of success is by an examination of the amount of successful convictions that occur in the court not by the amount of cash seizures made. He then emphasize the subsequent need for them to gather as much financial knowledge possible both from the opportunity provided by the work shop and taking personal initiatives to educate themselves accordingly.
Some of the topics to be covered by this workshop are:
- Cash Declaration Systems, Cash Seizure process maps, Concealments Overview
- International Standards & Domestic Legislation for R32 FATF (Countries should have measures in place to detect the physical cross-border transportation of currency and bearer negotiable instruments, including through a declaration system and/or disclosure system.)
- Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
- Sources of Intelligence & Development of Sources, Forensic Integrity
- Role of the Prosecutor and what happens next?
- Role of the FIUs, Case study & Practical Interview Exercises
The Cash Courier Workshop will conclude on the 1st of November 2013. At the end, it is expected that the various Law Enforcement participants will be better equipped with new financial knowledge which will enable them to increase efficiency and productivity especially in the area of increased cash seizures in the continuous fight against crime.