Attorney General Anand Ramlogan SC, wishes to express his support and commendation for the decision taken by the Honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, to co-sponsor the United Nation’s Security Council resolution on foreign terrorist fighters.
Trinidad and Tobago is a microcosm of the world. We have an increasing number of immigrants; people of varied national origins, diversity in religion, ethnicity and political belief. We have been characterized by our tolerance of each other’s beliefs but we are not immune from the growing international threat of those who believe that all people should think as they do and who would use the force of arms to impose their ideology on others.
AG Ramlogan recognizes the grave threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters to security, law and order. We are therefore pleased to collaborate with the USA and other member states to do our part to combat the global challenge posed by terrorism.
We must cut the lifeline of financial support that is the oxygen of terrorism. The complex network of support is borderless as the tentacles of terrorists can penetrate every nation, every institution and every town and village. We are a party to several treaties that deal with terrorism and have also proactively taken several proactive legislative measures to combat this pernicious evil.
Most of the legislative measures, required by this resolution are therefore already part of our laws. They include the following:
(1) Anti-terrorism Act, 2005 – In accordance with our obligations under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 we enacted the Anti-terrorism Act, in 2005. The Act criminalizes terrorism and provides for its detection, prevention, prosecution, conviction and punishment of terrorist activities and the confiscation, forfeiture and seizure of terrorist property. In 2010 we amended that Act to include the criminalization of financing of terrorism. Just recently we again amended the Act to make it complaint with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.
(2) Anti-terrorism (Financial Obligations) Regulations, 2011 are made under the Anti-terrorism Act and sets up the regulatory framework for financial institutions so as to monitor activities and report on suspicious activities which may have links to terrorist activities and terrorist organizations.
(3) Proceeds of Crime Act, 2000 and its accompanying Financial Obligations Regulations which were enacted to deal with the confiscation of the proceeds of money laundering is also a great tool in our arsenal against terrorism.
(4) Police Service Act, 2006 was amended this year to provide for the fingerprinting of all non-nationals at all ports of entry for the purpose of identifying all potential threats to Trinidad and Tobago. We are currently putting the infrastructure in place in order to bring this into operation.
(5) The Administration of Justice (Deoxyribonucleic acid) Act, 2012 was also amended this year to provide for the taking of DNA samples of all non-nationals upon arrival at any port into Trinidad and Tobago. As obtains with the Police Services Acct in respect of fingerprinting, we are currently putting the infrastructure in place in order to bring this into full operation.
(6) The Anti-personnel Mines Act, 2000 – This Act was enacted to give effect to the Convention on use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction.
AG Ramlogan is pleased that this Resolution is compatible with the existing international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law. Indeed, it is built on the bedrock of fundamental human rights and freedom that reinforce the rule of law in the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution and our legal system.
This resolution targets terrorists and their support base that use deadly force to inflict maximum damage and harm on innocent, peaceful law-abiding citizens. People who do not fall into this category have no cause for concern.
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
September 25, 2014