Mussenden takes aim at financial crime

  • More staff: Larry Mussenden, the Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions

    More staff: Larry Mussenden, the Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions

Prosecutors will set their sights on tackling financial crime, its director said.

Larry Mussenden, the Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, said that his department needed more administrative staff to handle an influx of financial crime and other criminal cases.

He added that the DPP hoped to find specialists that dealt with “vulnerable person cases”.

Mr Mussenden spoke on Friday as the judiciary and lawyers marked the start of the legal year at Sessions House in Hamilton.

The ceremony was attended by members of the profession, the Judicial Department, and John Rankin, the Governor.

Mr Mussenden said that an analysis conducted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force showed that Bermuda had an “excellent rapport” for investigating “money laundering and terrorist financing”.

He also called for the department to be given the power to see information during the investigation of a crime instead of waiting until a person was charged.

Mr Mussenden added: “We look forward to that legislation being put in place.”

Several defendants, including some from overseas, have appeared in court on bank fraud charges over the past year.

Tiberiu Gavrila, 45, of Romania, and Radu Asavei, 32, of Britain, were the latest to be sentenced after they admitted conspiracy to remove stolen money from the island.

The pair were jailed for a year on January 10.

Mr Mussenden said that the DPP had also seen an increase in vintage sex assault cases where incidents were alleged to have taken place as many as 40 years ago.

Mr Mussenden attributed this increase to the work of child protection agencies who educate the public in recognising sexual abuse.

Mr Mussenden added: “Our department, together with the police’s Vulnerable Persons Unit, treat victims with care so that they can feel assured that any complaints will be investigated properly and prosecuted appropriately.”

Mr Mussenden said that prosecutors had attended a “child-safeguarding training seminar” as a result of these increased sex assault cases.

He added that several prosecutors had visited schools during career fairs and spoke to children about online safety.

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Published Feb 17, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 17, 2020 at 7:10 am)

Mussenden takes aim at financial crime

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