Minister: Seizing Property From Proceeds Of Crime

April 12, 2012

[Updated with video] Legislation that deals with the seizure of personal property that is the proceeds of crime will be tabled tomorrow, Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief said this morning [Apr.12] “This keeps this Government’s promise to ensure that crime does not pay,” said the Minister.

“As we prepare for the return to the House tomorrow it is my expectation that this Session will feature more debate and decisions on how to combat the culture of anti-social behavior by a small segment of our population, said Minister Perinchief.

“In this vein, tougher legislation will be introduced to supplement the plans we already have in place. As I have indicated previously, a focus on the proceeds of crime is one essential element of disrupting the rhythm of those who would use criminal activity as a way of life.

“Legislation that deals with the seizure of personal property that is the proceeds of crime will be tabled tomorrow. This keeps this Government’s promise to ensure that crime does not pay.

“Other initiatives are at the drafting stage and we are committed to advancing them with equal efficiency as the hard work of the Bermuda Police Service must be complimented by legislative support, equally as tough as the action they must take to keep this community safe.

“The Commissioner has stated that “we cannot arrest our way out of this problem”. He is correct. Enforcement activity is the last line of defence against anti-social behaviour and the serious crime in this community. Handcuffs and imprisonment cannot be the first resort of a peace-loving community. That means that the real solutions to the issues that confront us lie elsewhere.

“My comments today may be considered unconventional, but these are not ordinary times and the failure of those of us in positions of responsibility to speak openly and honestly about these issues will only add to the spiral of dysfunction that we see playing out in these instances of criminal behaviour.

“The men and women committing these crimes are our sons and daughters. We know them. In some cases they live under our roof. In many instances the Police are criticized with the comment: “well, we know who they are so just go and get them…”

“One of the troubling aspects of some of the recent happenings is that the suspects are not in fact known to the Police. They do not figure in any gang intelligence and have not attracted the attention of the Police prior to their involvement in a serious crime.

That is not a failure of the Police, but it is our failure as members of the wider community. We must look inside our own homes and open our eyes to what is going on. There are signs which we must accept indicate that our son or daughter is not keeping the right company, is engaged in the drug trade or is participating in some stage of criminal behaviour.

As a community we must set limits for our sons and daughters. There must be consequences for unacceptable behaviour. We must support teachers and principals when they seek to address this also.

“This means that everything must attract our attention and scrutiny; right down to what our young people wear and with whom they hang. This must start as early as possible. Young people must know that the gang lifestyle in whatever form is not acceptable and they must also know that we as adults do not accept it.

“As parents and guardians we cannot allow ourselves to be the last to know these things about our children. We must talk and talk and talk some more until there is a clear understanding and level of comfort in sharing established between us and our young people.

“There are numerous agencies available to help where situations are difficult. In our own communities and through our schools’ professionals and experienced friends and colleagues, we can facilitate discussions. No-one should feel alone in this challenge. But we must be honest.

“In too many instances, the common thread of victim and perpetrator is some illicit activity that unwittingly makes one a target and fuels the aggression of the other. An analysis of many of these serious crimes indicates that random attacks are incredibly rare.

“This means that we must tell our young people that their involvement in this destructive lifestyle makes them targets. The cycle can only be broken if we prevent lifestyle choices that lead to serious crime.

This is community work. This is neighbourhood work. This is parental work. It is for all of us to do because solutions begin at home,” concluded Minister Perinchief.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Slick says:

    Since this bill is not "retroactive" this will only help to enforce the Status Quo as most fortunes and establishments are made from crime of some kind...

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  2. Wandering says:

    Hmmmm - who are they after now?

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  3. Tommy Chong says:

    “Handcuffs and imprisonment cannot be the first resort of a peace-loving community.” So our first resort decided by the minister & his committee is to seize personal property that is the proceeds of crime. This would be great if our police were mostly catching the big time crooks with the big houses & BMW but this is not so. Most of the ones caught are small time puppets with nothing to their name but a scooter, a few gold chains & a bank roll that probably only equals up to three grand. Even though it might be quite amusing if they took their girls designer bag & the mammas flat screen but I'm not sure if it will be worth the time & effort of the full investigation to prove these things were gained through criminal activity. Most of the criminal gained gifts will most likely have been paid for in cash & not have much of a trail & I don't think the stores will admit that these criminals got the goods from them if they even remember the faces of all the wannabe gangsters who come in at christmas. I don't know what else is to come but we must be realistic about this first legislation & realize if its to be taken to full extent of fairness it should go as far as going to certain local bars & taken profits gained from these individuals & even money government has earned through traffic finds & other finds if this is all coming from the same source. This is no skin off my teeth & as stated before to all this money get repossessed will be a laugh but is our law willing to go as far as it takes them. One other thing is what is to be done with all these ill gotten goods once confiscated surely it should go to the good of Bermuda & not to the police as it does in the states.

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  4. Cancer says:

    OBA you guys are such a wise group of people - pick your fights wisely - see you at the polls!

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  5. Pastor Syl says:

    Mr. Perinchief, I appreciate what you have to say, especially about parents working with schools. It has long been a concern of mine to hear from teacher friends about the way some parents respond to their children being disciplined by the school. One teacher had her life threatened by a father because she kept the child in detention for 15 minutes! I have heard stories about parents opening the car door at school to let their children out in the morning and a cloud of marijuana smoke emerges at the same time! How do we expect our children to learn when their brains are fuzzy? That is a form of child abuse and is reportable. If parents choose to break the law and smoke, that is one thing, but to expose their children, not only to the substance but also to the awareness that their parents are law-breakers (children know early that using drugs is illegal) is unfair to the child and plants the seeds of dysfunction (keeping secrets; "don't talk, don't trust, don't feel") that spill over into so many other areas of their, and our, lives.

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    • sage says:

      Legalize don't criticize. You should be more concerned about parents smoking cancer sticks or the ones who are either still hungover or just had their morning "toddy". "Heard stories", "brains are fuzzy", "child abuse", "law breakers","seeds of dysfunction", come out of de rocks. Don't follow rumor, and singling out herb for discrimination is hypocritical to say the least.

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  6. Mad Dawg says:

    Does this include money, houses, yachts derived from kickbacks? Including property and bank accounts overseas?

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  7. Kim Smith says:

    Oh my... I thought this had been in place for a little while now. How many more hoops does it have to go through before it is actually IN FORCE??

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  8. Owner4Comment says:

    It's a sad day in Bermuda and it's getting sadder the clenches are getting tighter and tighter and some of you who applaud all these restrictions being put in place but your only going to stop clapping when it directly effects you, and please believe there will be a law that effects everyone individually. The system is secretly well I should say blatenly becoming everyones mother and father and I object, I already have parents thank you. I understand what the ministers talking about when it comes to being involved at home talking with your kids etc but this seizure law is a bit much. I was just listening to the radio and tayo said even without prosecution of any kind they can still seize your assests:s, bit unfair dont you think? We now live in a world were governments dictate to the people how and what it is. They use the turmoil that goes on in the world to put in place rediculous legislations that we the public have to abide by. I'm all for law and order until it starts disrepecting and violating my stoor step like it already has.

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    • Devil's Advocate A.K.A. Tommy Chong says:

      This would be a violation of our constitution if even without prosecution of any kind they can still seize your assets. Unless what is meant by this is assets received by criminals then this is the fault of the business owner for turning a blind eye & it should be. These gangster wannabes love to claim territories & if we let it go any further they will turn into real gangsters & start running parts of Bermuda. I don't know the full of this laws so I can't really say if its unjust or not. What I do know is tayo likes to talk a bunch of trash.

      Then again we do have laws at the moment that give police the right to bust into any ones house & search anyone at any time on the grounds of hearsay. This is our fault because we have liars oh! I meant lawyers who go with the flow & tell the courts what they want to hear like, “It wasn't mine it was a house guest” instead of, “Yes it was mine & I'm not hurting anyone with it & your laws are helping jealous people to cause harm to others doing something harmless.” We also have citizens who do the same just to stay in an excepted circle of fallacy.

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      • Owner4Comment says:

        I agree fully and I'm glad you see my point but I do remember reading an article some months back that stated what tayo said this morning. Nonetheless the clenching that these laws are putting on society as a whole is just to much for me I feel like the governments have given to much power to law enforcement agencies therefore indirectly fueling curruption to manifest,because I don't care what u say there are many you can trust but there are so much more that you can't and the ones that can't are going to use these laws inappopriately at some point and the frequency of these inappropriate acts against us the people will rise gradually and steadily because the laws protect the agencies not us as you see you can't even bludgeon someone for coming into your home unnanounced without the fear of prosecution.

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  9. Young voice says:

    This LAW IF PASSED is RACIST!!!!! AND THE FACT THAT THEY SAID "BLING" IN THE NEWS PAPER PROVES IT!!!!!!! WHAT WHITE PERSON UNLESS THEY ARE MOCKING BLACK PPL REFERs TO JEWeLERY AS BLING??THESE BLACK PLP 'BLANKS' HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES TO BE MORE RACIST TOWARD YOUNG BLACK MALES THEN THE OBA PPL!!!!!!YEA I SAID IT!! TALKING BOUT IF YOU DRIVE A BMW ECT? "BLANK" YOU GUYS!!! YOUR TRYNA SCARE THE PUBLIC INTO ALLOWING YOU B%$TARDS TO GIVE THE POLICE UNLIMITED FREEDOM TO DO WHAT EVER THE 'BLANK THEY WANT TO THE YOUNG BLACK MEN IN THIS COUNTRY! YOU EVEN TRYED TO BAN HOODYS! PROVING THAT YOU HAVE THE SAme mindset as Zinnerman towards Travon!!! You all hate we young BLACK MALES maybe thats why we are FINALLY Beginning TO HATe ALL OF YOU As WELL!!!! HA HA>>>>>>KARMA IS AN ITCH COMING TO A SCRATCH NEAR YOU #REAL TALK

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  10. Young voice says:

    IF ANY ONE WAS TO ASK ME TO DESCRIBE THE MAJORITY OF THE OLDER BLACK GENERATIONS VIEW TOWARDS YOUNG BLACK MALES IN THIS COUNTRY IN ONE WORD (AS A YOUNG BLACK MALE) I WOULD SAY...........CANNIBALS<<<<<<REAL TALK

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  11. aqua cadit resurgere says:

    make sure there is no abuse of this legislation!Law applies to evryone....

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  12. aqua cadit resurgere says:

    action on hearsay with no rightful mitigating evidence sshould be a crime,there is no self incrimination that can be lawfully considered mitigating or proof to proceed...membah dat...failure to follow specific lawful guidelines will have bps and or govt subject to prosecution for abuse and aquisition of lawful ...say...inheritance etcetera.When you take something make sure it's yours to take ...otherwise there are renumerations with interest due...and a possible jail cell for obvious abuse!

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