Bahamas to expand war on narcotics trafficking

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas is expanding its efforts in the war on narcotics trafficking to include stopping the diversion of pharmaceuticals and precursor chemicals from “licit into illicit” channels, National Security Permanent Secretary A Missouri Sherman-Peter confirmed.

She said the expanded thrust would also include the implementation of “the systems recommended to tackle those issues.”
The Bahamas has been “resolute in its efforts” to counter the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, she asserted.

“We have decisively addressed pivotal matters such as money laundering, have amended and/or adopted legislation as appropriate, and have established mechanisms including the Financial Intelligence Unit,” said Mrs Sherman-Peter.

“The areas generally targeted by National Anti-Drug Plans are well-known to us in The Bahamas (as) we have worked relentlessly and tirelessly in these areas for decades.”

Mrs Sherman-Peter was addressing officials from several key government agencies attending a three-day Training Workshop for The Bahamas National Anti-Drug Plan, 2010-2014.

Those agencies included the National Anti-Drug Secretariat, Bahamas National Drug Council, Bahamas National Drug Agency, Ministry of Health, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Her Majesty’s Prison, Customs Department and Port Department.

Officials from the Ministry of National Security also attended the workshop that ended August 19. They are expected to help draft the country’s next National Anti-Drug Plan.

The workshop covered topics such as institutional framework analysis, legal framework analysis, strategic planning, and social analysis, among other areas.

Mrs Sherman-Peter said the lessons learned would culminate in the launch of a “new phase” in The Bahamas’ drug control efforts in the context of it second five-year National Anti-Drug Plan. The first Plan ends this year.

The workshop was hosted by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), in conjunction with The Bahamas’ National Anti-Drug Secretariat, and was facilitated by Maria Beatriz Galvis, CICAD Specialist.

CICAD was established in 1986 by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) as the Western Hemisphere’s policy forum on all aspects of the drug problem.

Each member-state/government, appoints a high-ranking representative to the commission, which meets twice a year. CICAD promotes regional cooperation and coordination among the 34- OAS member-states through action programmes carried out by the Permanent Secretariat.

Its core mission is to strengthen the human and institutional capabilities and harness the collective energy of its member-states to reduce the production, trafficking and use and abuse of drugs in the Americas.

“Drug control is serious work and the National Anti-Drug Plan we develop here, must provide the framework in which we continue to do this serious work,” Mrs. Sherman Peter-said.

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