The Hon. Carl Bethel
Attorney General & Minister of Justice

Attorney General and Minister of Justice the Hon. Carl Bethel announced in a press conference yesterday that a special Task Force has been appointed to co-ordinate investigative activities of the several law enforcement agencies involved in providing assistance to the International Community in the fight against international terrorism.

Last week, the Governor-General of The Bahamas signed The International Obligations (Economic and Ancillary Measures) (Afghanistan) Order 2001. This Order prohibits (a) sales or supply of goods to Afghanistan (b) the use of Bahamian airspace for any flights to or from Afghanistan, except those of a humanitarian nature. It also prohibits the any person dealing with any property and any financial institution licensed in The Bahamas from transacting business with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, his Al-Qaida organisation, and any individuals or entities associated with them.

The Task Force comprises the Attorney General, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Senior Police Officers and Senior Legal Officers.

Extensive searches and enquiries are being made of banks and other financial institutions to determine if any assets of Osama bin Laden or Al-Qaida are in The Bahamas. It is anticipated that comprehensive background investigations will eliminate confusion where name similarities are concerned.

The Attorney General said The Bahamas is closely monitoring its financial sector to ensure that its financial institutions are not being used to fund terrorists or terrorism in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

*”To date, no bank accounts or assets in The Bahamas have been linked to the persons named in the FBI’s list”,* according to the AG.