Categorized | National News

Bahamas Joins Fight Against Organised Crime

Thirty-six graduates received their diplomas Friday after completing a week-long training seminar focusing on combating transnational orgnanised crime.

The seminar hosted by the Centre for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS), brought participants from The Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States.

The CHDS is a regional arm of the US Department of Defense (DOD), which provides strategic level education on international security and defense policy-making to military and civilian leaders of the western hemisphere.

Over the course of the week, participants focused on the global challenges that transnational organised crime poses to nations in this hemisphere.

Seminar attendees examined case studies, participated in group discussions and completed problem-solving exercises that identified potential strategies and opportunities for cooperation to address the growing threat from transnational organised crime.

Addressing the delegates at the graduation ceremony was Major Fran Mahon, director of strategy, policy and plans North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), who reminded them that transnational criminal organisations (TCO) are now the common threat within the western hemisphere.

Major Mahon noted that TCOs are criminal entrepreneurs who deal in narcotics, illicit trafficking and weapons smuggling and when competition among these enterprises increases, TCOs then branch into violent crimes like kidnapping or extortion.

“At USNORTHCOM, we are committed to countering transnational organised crime before it gains further footholds in our homelands and in our hemisphere,” Major Mahon said. “These organisations are like a cancer that attacks the fabric of our societies.

“The United States has historically looked far to the east and west when we have assessed our national security concerns. That changed on September 11, 2001, and resulted in the creation of USNORTHCOM. On that day, we realised that our oceans do not protect us from attack and that there are threats to our security right here in this hemisphere. We must counter these threats to ensure our security and that of our neighbours.”

State Minister for National Security Keith Bell also reaffirmed the Bahamian government’s commitment to playing its part in countering threats from transnational organised crime.

“We are about to engage in discussions which means that the door is opened and we are seeking to deal in a proactive way with these types of crimes in our jurisdiction because all of these crimes are interconnected,” Mr. Bell said. “It is important as governments, countries and law enforcement that we come together and we network.”

Twenty-two Bahamians participated in the training seminar along with five participants from The Turks and Caicos Islands and nine delegates from the United States.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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