Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 30, 2023 (SKNIS): In a landmark move to bolster the nation’s efforts against crime and corruption, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Garth Wilkin, successfully led the debate on the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was subsequently passed into law.
This amendment primarily focuses on revising the definition of “tainted property” under the Proceeds of Crime legislation, underlining the government’s unwavering commitment to upholding law and order.
The Proceeds of Crime Act, which originally came into force in November 2000, has since undergone 12 amendments. Its core objective is to provide a legal framework for the freezing, forfeiture, and confiscation of proceeds derived from criminal activities. The Act further strengthens the nation’s stance against money laundering, illustrating the administration’s focus on international cooperation.
Attorney-General Wilkin elaborated on the paramount importance of recovering proceeds of crime, as it acts as a significant deterrent, hitting criminals where it affects them most – their financial gains. The newly proposed amendment ensures a comprehensive and clearer definition of “tainted property”. The revamped definition aims to rectify the limitations identified in the March 2021 amendment and enhance the efficiency and scope of investigative bodies to recover assets related to criminal activities.
Emphasizing the pivotal role of this amendment, the Attorney-General stated, “This amendment is critical to the work of investigators and prosecutors who strive to hold perpetrators of white-collar crime accountable.”
The Attorney-General underscored the overarching vision of this amendment, which is to drive the nation toward a sustainable island state, reinforcing the rule of law and augmenting public trust in the justice system. He reiterated that modern legislation like the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill, 2023, amplifies the nation’s commitment to justice, order, and the protection of the rights of its citizens.
Concluding the debate, the Attorney-General expressed, “Together, on the constitutional commitment to achieve our national objectives with a unity of purpose, we can further strengthen our ability to combat crime and recover the proceeds of criminal activities, ensuring a safer and more just future for our nation.”