Foreign Affairs Minister Janet Bostwick last week in the House of Assembly tabled a communication on the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, an outgrowth of a draft framework convention against organised crime first introduced in the UN in 1996. The Bahamas Ambassador to the United Nations signed the Convention at the UN Headquarters earlier this month. The UNTOC generally seeks to promote cooperation in order to prevent and combat transnational organised crime, including the laundering of proceeds of serious offences. It also covers, extensively, mutual legal assistance and embraces the principle of dual criminality.

Also tabled was the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, scheduled to be signed at the OAS Headquarters in Washington on April 26.

In tabling the Conventions, the Minister indicated that The Bahamas is now taking “this first step in the process of accession”.

Accession to each Convention permits, where so agreed, the extradition by consenting state parties of alleged offenders without the necessity for bilateral treaties between states. The compendium of new financial services legislation enacted during December 2000 addressed most of the issues covered by the two Conventions.