May 24, 2012 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today announced $3.4 million in new funding for projects that combat transnational organized crime and terrorism in the Caribbean. These initiatives aim to support law enforcement training and criminal justice reform.
“These projects are an example of Canada’s commitment to the fight against international crime,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “Combatting crime happens not only on the front lines through training and equipment, but also through the proper legislation and judicial reforms that are needed to successfully prosecute criminals.”
The projects announced today include a regional training centre for polygraph operators and provision of counterterrorism training to criminal justice officials to promote the implementation of international counterterrorism conventions. Also included is a container control program that will reduce drug trafficking and other forms of cross-border organized crime, while at the same time facilitating legitimate trade.
“These are clearly areas in which Canada can share its experiences and expertise,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “Cooperation with our international partners allows us to share best practices with other nations in the region, leading to a stronger and safer hemisphere for us all.”
The contribution is funded by Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) and Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP). The ACCBP supports efforts by countries in the Americas to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational organized criminal networks. The CTCBP provides training, equipment, and technical and legal assistance to help states around the world prevent and respond to terrorist activity. These projects will be implemented by the Canadian Police College, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Customs Organization.
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A backgrounder follows.
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Canada is funding the following projects, announced today, through its Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) and Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP):
Implementing partners: Canadian Commercial Corporation and Canadian Police College
Time frame: January 2012 to March 2014
Funding announced: $705,000
This project will establish a regional training centre for polygraph operators in Jamaica. This phased project will initially support the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Anti-Corruption Branch in implementing its new ethics and integrity policy, and at the same time respond to regional requests for assistance with polygraph examinations. This initiative entails constructing facilities and supplying mobile equipment and vehicles. The facilities will ultimately create a regional hub of polygraph operator expertise, including the ability to train and certify operators throughout the Caribbean. The project will result in more effective anti-corruption operations, more successful criminal investigations and an increased number of criminal convictions in the region, and will deter members of the security forces from engaging in corrupt activities.
Implementing partners: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO)
Time frame: April 2009 to March 2013
Funding announced: $1,586,520
Through the global UNODC-WCO program, specialized, inter-agency container port control units (PCUs) are being established in selected ports. Canadian funding has made it possible to significantly strengthen controls over containerized trade in the Americas and the Caribbean. PCUs are trained to use risk assessment, risk indicators and profiling techniques to identify shipments likely to contain illicit drugs or other illegal commodities. These improved port control and security features in the containerized trade supply chain will reduce drug trafficking and other forms of cross-border organized crime, while at the same time acting to facilitate legitimate trade.
Since its inception in 2006, the Container Control Program, through its PCUs, has regularly seized illicit container shipments of opium, precursor chemicals for manufacturing illicit drugs, counterfeit goods and improperly declared revenue goods. The PCUs have seized over 58 tonnes of cocaine, including eight tonnes in 2012, since the first unit became operational in 2006.
The $1.5 million announced today builds on an initial $1.9 million commitment announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2011. In today’s announcement, an allotment of $464,300 has been identified for technical assistance to Jamaica. Canada’s cumulative support for this project now totals approximately $3.4 million.
Implementing partner: UNODC
Time frame: April 2010 to June 2012
Funding announced: $1.2 million
This project is supporting counterterrorism legislation reform in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname and providing counterterrorism training to criminal justice officials in other Caribbean countries to promote the universal implementation of international counterterrorism conventions. For example, as part of this project, UNODC conducted a course in Jamaica in October 2011 that trained 34 delegates from Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and 13 Caribbean countries on cross-border cooperation, with a focus on counterterrorism and crimes related to terrorism. Since the project’s inception, eight countries in the Caribbean have ratified 20 elements of the International Legal Instruments to Counter Terrorism, while seven countries, including Jamaica, have enacted, amended or drafted national legislation on counterterrorism, the financing of terrorism and other, related, criminal matters.