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Beef up laws to curb money laundering

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16.MAR.07

Editor: I couldn’t imagine that in my lifetime that good people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines would all at once rebel against the ravages and repercussions of drugs on our country.

The time is thus opportune for us to pass in parliament legislation that authorizes the execution of drug dealers, barons and pushers. Listening to the ranting of our people, such a referendum will pass by 90%.{{more}}

Some lawyers may get diarrhea and dirty their pants. They rake in millions yearly without ever paying their taxes, or issuing receipts to their clients. Defending drug dealers put a broad smile on their financial face.

Not to be outdone, all of us without exception genuflect to the rich, no matter the source of their ill-gotten gains. Money is the only god we serve.

Some of us make it our business to use quick money to play and blackmail people, and to hire nefarious hit men to do our dirty work.

We dare not criticize the wealthy. They will sue us. Society sympathizes with the criminal as in our dark unbalanced minds, we think solely of emulating them.

Drugs proceeds fuel myriad activities in this country. Some claim they engage in the drugs business merely to support their family.

But drugs proceeds destroy homes. A drugs man will buy your spouse or relatives and enslave that individual for life. Drugs, gambling and prostitution greet each other gaily each day.

PEOPLE LIKE FREENESS

The most honest of us enjoy freeness. People accept free drinks and meals, free gifts, free cars and boats and these hypocrites never question the source of funds that pays for this generosity, nor the price it will ultimately cost them. Sooner rather than later though, they realize they have sold their souls to the devil. Usually, it is too late to extricate oneself.

We need be honest with ourselves. We can’t envy a drugs man for what he has, and we must refuse his gifts. Count the number of deranged drugs users in this country, who at one time or another would have been thieves, prostitutes or homosexuals to support their habit.

Honest people get gunned down as drugs users seek to take what they have worked hard for. Watch the number of senseless robbers against the innocents, businesses, pedestrians, vehicles owners, the aged.

I call on our people to have zero tolerance for illegal drugs. Execute the culprits and permit our citizens to again praise the benefits of hard and honest work.

Let me mention in passing that the twin evil of bribery and corruption is so rife in the country that the government cannot earn enough revenue to pay its bills or fund its projects. Yet many low-level government cadres command wealth and engage in lifestyles for which they dare not explain the funding. Guess what, they are on the take.

It is interesting that both government and opposition are now reading from the same page when it comes to the subject of integrity legislation. That said we may soon get out of the stone ages on the issue of corruption, such that people will stop regarding honesty and fair play as a sore foot in this land.

People with no visible means of support may then think twice about displaying and boasting of their ill-gotten gains, or setting up other people in a money-laundering business.

Finally, beef up the Money Laundering Authority and gave it teeth. Seize assets. Don’t keep the culprits unduly long in the government hotel feasting on boneless beef.

Ask the courts with the new legislation to execute offenders. Our country may yet again become blessed.

Ken Cato

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