St Lucia PM wants FBI-type agency for Caribbean

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC ) — St Lucia is proposing the establishment of a United States style Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) so as to deal with security concerns within the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.

St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) conference on Thursday that such law enforcement agency could help monitor the region since crime is no longer a domestic issue.

The five-day conference by the Trinidad-based CARICOM agency is aimed at identifying how the pandemic has impacted criminality and organised crime and the implications for the future.

The event, which ends later today, is being held under the theme “Securing Our Caribbean Community Within The Era Of COVID-19 and Beyond”.

The FBI is an intelligence-driven and threat-focused national security organisation with both intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities. It is the principal investigative arm of the US Department of Justice, according to the agency’s official website.

Chastanet told the conference “I think we should have like, and sorry I am using the American comparison, whether it’s an M(I)5 or an FBI operation for CARICOM that’s a standing police force”.

MI5, is the United Kingdom’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency and Chastanet spoke of the ability of the best officers from around the region being able to work in a similar type CARICOM entity that would be “able to come in and help strengthen” security in the region.

“The economic challenges, the social challenges we are going to have in my humble opinion really require us to step up our game,” he said, recalling what he described as a very interesting discussion with the cruise industry this week.

He said the cruise itinerary will literally have to become one destination, or in essence – a bubble, explaining that whatever the port of call, each country needs to sign off on protocols and be satisfied that disembarking passengers are safe whether heading to St Lucia, Dominica or Barbados.

“We are moving into an even more integrated e-platform to get persons to register, send their electronic certificates and also monitoring where they are going,” Chastanet said, adding that the authorities will be able to track where passengers have been.

“This is going to help significantly with the policing in the region. This is a hole in the region that existed that we can hopefully close,” he told the virtual conference.

Main photo: St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

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