Government is currently reviewing Barbados??? legislative framework with a view to enacting enabling laws to take the proceeds out of criminal activity, including civil asset recovery.
This disclosure came today from Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy, as he delivered remarks at the 14th Caribbean Basin Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit at Hilton Barbados.
Mr. Sealy told his audience, which included Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson: ???We are all aware that the criminal elements have significant resources at their disposal through their ill-gotten gains??? It is envisaged that this will be a valuable source of income to finance our law enforcement authorities, with a dedicated forfeiture fund to support law enforcement, victim restitution and substance abuse treatment in particular for our at risk youth.???
He told the gathering that Government had embarked on a coastal radar project to assist in the management of maritime traffic coming into and leaving Barbados, and it had already borne significant results.
The Acting Prime Minister emphasised that maritime security should not be viewed solely within the context of individual national sovereignty, but within the context of a shared responsibility. He noted that as with countries the world over, Barbados and its regional neighbours experience challenges to their maritime domain.
He identified maritime domain awareness as the key to achieving effective maritime security in Barbados and the region. ???But, the achievement of such awareness remains a significant challenge to maritime law enforcement. Maritime domain awareness means having true and timely information about everything on, under, adjacent to, or bordering a sea, ocean or other navigable waterway. This includes all related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, vessels, or other means of transport. For marine security, it means being aware of anything in the marine domain that could threaten Barbados’ national security,??? he opined.
Mr. Sealy explained that achieving maritime domain awareness required integrating all-source intelligence, law enforcement information, and open-source data from the public and private sectors. According to him, maritime domain awareness is heavily dependent on information sharing and requires unprecedented cooperation among the various elements of the public and private sectors, both nationally and internationally.