14th February, 2014

The Office of National Drug & Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) recently held a Staff Appreciation Luncheon which was convened to recognize the men and women of the Agency for their collective accomplishments for the year ending 2013.

pm_luncheon (300 x 267)

The following represents the address by The Prime Minister at this function.


Prime Minister
Dr. the Hon. W. Baldwin Spencer
ONDCP Appreciation Luncheon
February 7, 2014

- Her Excellency, Dame Louise Lake-Tact, Governor General
- Director of the ONDCP Lieutenant Colonel Edward Croft;
- Members of Parliament;
- Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Sandra Joseph;
- Chief of Defence Staff, Colonel Trevor Thomas;
- Senior Public Servants;
- Officers of the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy;
- Special Honorees;
- Specially invited guests;
- Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Afternoon:
Once again it is a privilege for me to be here with the women and men of the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy and partners in the fight against crime in and around our borders, in celebrating another successful year of operations.

I first would like to thank the Director of the ONDCP Lieutenant Colonel Edward Croft not only for inviting me to speak at this appreciation gathering but also for his leadership of the organization.

This month, Lieutenant Colonel Croft also celebrates seven years as being at the helm of the ONDCP. Those seven years, while being challenging times for Antigua and Barbuda in our fight against narcotics trafficking, money laundering and the financing of terrorism have been very successful for the ONDCP.

As you have heard from the Director in his report, the past year has recorded significant successes in the fight to keep our borders protected from criminal elements while at the same time ensuring the safety of our citizens and residents.

The Director has also been very instrumental in attracting to Antigua and Barbuda a number of high level conferences and forums which have benefited you the officers of the ONDCP and our regional colleagues and he is to be highly commended for his work.

I particularly would like to make mention of the hosting of the Heads of Financial Intelligence Units from around the region and the Cash Courier Workshop held in conjunction with the UK Caribbean Council Assets Recovery Programme and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime.

These two high level events were of extreme importance to the work that you the men and women of the ONDCP are entrusted and to the overall fight being taken to criminals by regional law enforcement institutions.

The government recognizes the value of these training sessions and it is our commitment to continue supporting the training of you the officers of the ONDCP to better carry out your functions.

The ONDCP is also to be highly commended for its collaboration with other agencies here in Antigua and Barbuda and abroad, which have contributed to its success over the past year.

The end results of your work with the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission, the Customs and Excise Division, the Immigration Department, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and other local, regional and international organizations is a demonstration that we all are required to play a part in the fight against crime. It is only then when we will make significant inroads into the operations of criminals who seek to exploit our shores.

I make mention here of your collaboration with local agencies in removing from the streets, over EC $ 8.5 million dollars worth of illegal drugs from our shores in 2013.

This is a remarkable feat and I wish to state publicly that the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda appreciate all of you for the tremendous work that you have been doing.

Although your successes over the past year have been great, the government is also aware that the challenges of the past year have been significant.

I wish to assure you, the recommendations put forward by your Director for improvement of the agency are being given serious consideration by the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda.

To say that your business is a tough business would be an understatement.

You are not only charged with ensuring that the people of this great nation of ours remain safe; but most importantly, you have the responsibility of ensuring that Antigua and Barbuda remains a model crime fighting jurisdiction in the eyes of the international community.

This I know comes at great sacrifice to you and to your families. However, I am certain that the people of this country are grateful for the service that you give because your hard work certainly makes a difference in our society.

Each one of you here this afternoon has made the difficult decision of serving your country in this capacity and you can rely on my government’s continued support and where appropriate a hand.

I urge you to remain steadfast to your objectives not only when things seem easy but also when the going gets really tough.

Your guiding values are directed by Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Professionalism and Loyalty with the underpinnings of a clearly defined vision and mission.

These are not simply words and statements but words and statements that must be demonstrative of the character of the women and men who comprise the ONDCP. Stay true to them.

Congratulations once again to all of you and special words of commendation to the honorees for a job well done.

We thank God for each one of you and May God bless your families and Antigua and Barbuda.

Thank you.