The Bahamas has introduced a new Anti-Terrorism Act that supports wide-ranging international measures calling for the suppression of terrorist financing and improved international cooperation.
The Anti-Terrorism Act 2004 is designed to work in conjunction with existing Bahamian legislation such as the Proceeds of Crime Act which gives the police, customs and the courts certain powers in relation to money laundering and the search, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime. Other supporting pieces of legislation to assist with anti-terrorism measures include the Financial Transactions Reporting Act and amendments made to the Central Bank Act, The Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act and the International Business Companies Act.
Bahamas Attorney General the Hon. Alfred Sears said each of these pieces of legislation *“was strengthened to ensure compliance with the 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.”* He said the Anti-Terrorism legislation also specifically recognises the importance of compliance with United Nations conventions.
In 2001, The Bahamas also enacted the International Economic Obligation and Ancillary Measures Act, enabling it to authorise financial institutions to freeze the accounts of persons associated with 9/11, as identified on the United Nations list of terrorist organizations.
The Bahamas currently is signatory to seven multilateral conventions and protocols relating to responsibilities for combating terrorism:
1. The Convention for the Suppression of unlawful seizure of aircraft, signed on Dec. 16, 1970.
2. The Convention for the Suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of civil aviation, signed at Montreal on Sep. 21, 1971.
3. The Convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against internationally protected persons including diplomatic agents, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on Dec 14, 1973.
4. The International Convention against the taking of hostages, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on Dec 18, 1979.
5. The international Convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on Dec 09, 1999.
6. The Inter-American Convention against terrorism adopted at the second session of the Organisation of American States, held on June 03, 1999
7. The Convention on the suppression of terrorism, adopted by the Organisation of American States in 2002.