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No Tolerance for ‘Duduses’ in SVG!

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29.MAR.11

Submitted by the Financial Intelligence Unit

Money laundering is the criminal’s way of trying to ensure that, in the end, crime pays. It is necessitated by the requirement that criminals (drug traffickers, organized criminals, terrorists, kidnappers, blackmailers, or credit card swindlers) disguise the origin of their criminal money, so they can avoid detection and the risk of prosecution.{{more}} Without effective implementation and enforcement of the law regulating specific activities, these criminals continue their enterprise, live their lives extravagantly with successfully laundered proceeds, whilst the progress of law-abiding citizens is stifled.

There are significant social costs and risks associated with money laundering. Money laundering is vital to making crime worthwhile. It allows drug traffickers, smugglers, and other criminals to expand their operations. This drives up the cost of government, due to the need for increased law enforcement and health care expenditures (for example, for treatment of drug addicts) to combat the serious consequences that result. Among its other negative socioeconomic effects, money laundering transfers economic power from the market, government, and citizens to criminals. In short, it turns the old adage that crime doesn’t pay on its head. Furthermore, the sheer magnitude of the economic power that accrues to criminals from money laundering has a corrupting effect on all elements of society. In extreme cases, it can lead to the virtual take-over of legitimate government. Money laundering is thus not only a law enforcement problem; it poses a serious national and international security threat as well.

One example that is readily drawn to mind is the Christopher “Dudus” Coke situation in Jamaica. According to reports from Jamaica, Dudus was seen as a “saviour” to many citizens. They relied on him to deal with interpersonal disagreements, family squabbles, jobs, housing, food, pocket money, education and overall security. As long as our poor are kept subservient, ignorant and wanting, gangs, dons and mega-dons (like Dudus is alleged to be) will emerge to fulfil the needs of their communities. Jamaica experienced a mini-revolt and social upheaval due to the “Dudus” extradition matter. As a result, lives were lost; school, commerce and production were suspended; atrocities were committed; innumerable adults and children were psychologically scarred forever; civil freedoms were necessarily suspended; and billions of dollars went down the drain. Jamaica’s international relations were jeopardized and its name was besmirched.

This is a wake-up call for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, that we cannot allow “Duduses” to possess such powers that they are able to disrupt the normal flow of a country. It will be a dastardly situation if we allow our blessed country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to be overtaken by “Duduses”, where the reins of the Law are let loose and criminals are allowed to operate with impunity. Once criminal activity is clear, then without hesitation justice must take its course. We cannot allow inadvertence on our part to be gleaned as our support for these criminal acts. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it”:- Martin Luther King Jr.

Hence the reason the Financial Intelligence Unit is making you aware of the threats posed by these nefarious elements and the crimes in which they engage. If we are to reduce the ability of criminals to launder their proceeds and carry out their criminal activities, we must be tough on crime. We should ensure that proportionate, dissuasive and effective penalties are imposed against such criminals, by sending them to prison and hitting them where it hurts hardest, that is, in their pockets; by seizing, forfeiting and confiscating any benefit derived from criminal conduct. Criminals have no legal claim to properties derived from criminal conduct. We must ensure that our country’s reputation, that we have built over the past years as being a safe place for investment, remains intact. We cannot afford to allow the so obvious threats of money launderers go unheeded.

Let us, as a society, work together in putting an end to this criminal conduct and take the power from the “Duduses”, sending a clear message that Crime does not pay!

Visit our website at www.svgfiu.com for more information on money laundering.

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