Prior to the emergency meeting of CARICOM Heads of Governments last week, a series of regional Ministerial and Private Sector meetings took place, for the purpose of making specific recommendations to the leaders’ forum. These meetings dealt with foreign policy and security, finance and insurance, tourism and transport.
The relevant Working Group and Ministerial Committee adopted a recommendation that CARICOM will use The Bahamas’ legislation with respect to the seizure of the finances of terrorists as a model for the region. According to Foreign Affairs Minister Janet Bostwick, *”The Bahamas has moved further than any other country in the region in this respect.”* She noted, however, that The Bahamas maintains its position with regard to the exchange of financial information, stating *”…whereas the exchange of financial information is very important, The Bahamas is being careful to ensure that it is the exchange of financial information on criminal matters; and that this is not used as an opportunity to extend it to civil matters.”*
Notwithstanding this, the Minister indicated that the group discussed all matters connected with money-laundering, with the intent to ensure that, as far as is possible, the region identifies and seizes the assets of any terrorist who may have funds in the territory.