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Simons: Police raids hit criminals where it hurts

Darrin Simons, Commissioner of Police Commissioner (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Two high-profile police operations this month have been hailed by Police Commissioner Darrin Simons for hitting suspected criminals where it hurts.

Mr Simons added he was “fairly confident” that court appearances were in train.

An August 4 raid yielding six arrests and $25,000 in cash seized was followed by another sweep on August 11 with five arrested, live ammunition netted and $300,000 in cash taken.

The Commissioner told The Royal Gazette that the takings in both operations added up to “a significant amount of cash”.

“What is repeatedly shown is that taking the profit out of crime really does have an impact,” he said.

“When you look long term at incarceration, obviously people are not happy about that. But when profits and proceeds of crime are gone, that really hurts them and causes people to reflect.”

Heightened powers to seize cash and the proceeds of crime have been ramped up by legislators over the last ten years, with confiscated money turned over by the Bermuda Government to support community organisations.

Mr Simons said the capture of a small fortune sent a strong message.

“When people are involved in nefarious activity and they see large scale police operations, it gives them pause,” he said. “Criminals are criminals. It’s not absolutely going to stop.

“But it definitely puts a dampener on these activities, at least in the short term.

“We are always keen to be pro-active in our work, and to take the proceeds of crime, along with arresting and prosecuting the people involved.”

The two police operations were backed by officers across the service, including the Drugs Unit and Financial Crime Unit.

While the capture of ammunition was not said to be a large one, Mr Simons said it could shed light on other matters.

“Every time we get to seize ammunition, when we do the forensic work around that, that can lead us to different spaces and opportunities to get more information about criminal networks and those connected to them.”

Asked if the public should brace for further large-scale operations and arrests, Mr Simons said: “It’s difficult to say at this moment in time whether investigations will lead to additional warrants.

“But I am fairly confident that the two operations are going to lead to persons charged before the courts.

“Financial crime investigations in particular can take a little while – in this case there’s the seizure of illicit illegal items which hopefully will help speed things along.”