The following statement was released by Detective Superintendent Nicholas Pedro (Officer in Charge, Crime Division) at the Bermuda Police Service this afternoon (June 28)…

Detectives from the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) have embarked on a two week course as of Monday, June 27th, 2022, aimed at financial investigations, asset recovery, confiscation & forfeiture, as well as investigating virtual (crypto) currencies. With the ever evolving nature of financial crimes, relevant training of investigators is vital.

The two week course has been funded by the Confiscated Assets Fund, which is enshrined in the Proceeds of Crime Act, where cash and forfeiture orders of the courts are deposited when the court has been satisfied that a person has benefited from criminal conduct. These monies are then utilized partly by law enforcement in combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and drug trafficking.

Opening the course, Mrs. Shauna Mackenzie (Acting Chair of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee) made remarks to the course attendees, highlighting the importance of their work in combating criminals use of Bermuda’s financial system to engage in criminal conduct. She made reference to the Bermuda Police Service being at the “frontline” of combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of weapons of mass destruction. Assistant Commissioner of Police Antoine Daniels also addressed the detectives and highlighted the importance of this investigative capability.

Importantly, the course was implemented to address a specific issue identified by international assessors from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), where Bermuda’s record on asset confiscation and forfeiture was identified as needing improvement.

The detectives on the course work primarily in the Financial Crime Unit, but officers from the Criminal Investigations Unit and Drugs (Narcotics) Unit are also on the course to address successional planning and redundancy issues. The Financial Crime Unit is largely focused on combating money laundering, corruption, fraud, and other forms of serious financial crimes, and works closely with other local Government and international agencies in these areas.

Upon completion of the course, the detectives will be considered trained financial investigators, and also receive certificates in the investigation of virtual currencies. The course is being provided by GENTIUM UK, a worldwide provider of training and services in financial and cryptocurrency investigations.”