EDITOR, The Tribune.
In reference to the ever increasing burden of compliance in the name of Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Proliferation of Terrorism on the Bahamian people.
After taking 12+ hours of my volunteer time to take care of the requirements in order to maintain the bank account of a non-profit volunteer service organisation which has been in existence since before Bahamian Independence - it occurs to me that this whole “Compliance” bullocks is clearly running against the legal concept of “innocent until proven guilty”.
With the modern world’s paperwork burden on the average man or business, it is necessary to prove your innocence to the bank you want to open or even just maintain an account with a bank. You have to prove your innocence when you want to hire an attorney or accountant. You have to prove your innocence when you want to buy real estate in the Bahamas. And you have to prove your innocence when you want to get a utility account turned on. Is this not contrary to the constitutional rights of The Bahamas?
I am not in any way stating that fighting terrorism and money laundering is a bad thing, but at what cost to our liberty? At what point will the collective consciousness of the humans of the world realise that the increased burden and cost on people and business has not had the desired effect? Case in point - we have to take our shoes off to get on a plane, but that hasn’t stopped terrorism around the world has it? At what cost to our liberty?
August 26, 2019.