Rt. Hon. H.A. Ingraham
Prime Minister of The Bahamas
The Prime Minister of The Bahamas has affirmed that the nation shares the interest of the United States and of the wider international community to “expose, isolate and incapacitate” the financial holdings of terrorists. *”We believe that our enhanced regulatory and supervisory system, in place since December, 2000, puts us in a good position to both protect our system from use and abuse by terrorists while guaranteeing financial privacy for legitimate clients of financial institutions engaged in business in and from The Bahamas, and by facilitating international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.”*
Acting immediately, the Governor General in September signed an Order Under the International Obligations (Economic and Ancillary Measures) Act 1993, facilitating action to prevent the use of any funds held in Bahamian banks from being used to finance the continuation of the terrorist action believed to have been masterminded by Osama bin Laden from his bases in Afghanistan. Additionally, all Bahamian licenced banks were issued lists of suspected individuals, organisations and businesses believed to have connections to terrorists or terrorist organisations, with direction for a thorough search of their records.
The Prime Minister has promised ongoing Government assessment of the implications for The Bahamas of the initial act of terrorism and of the consequential state of war between international terrorists and the civilized world of which The Bahamas is a concerned member. *”There is one certainty: we must do all we can to secure our borders and to carry on our lives as a free and democratic people,”* he said.