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Dunkley seeks to combat prison smuggling

Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley will today seek parliamentary approval for a bill meant to toughen control and penalties for importing contraband items into the Island’s prisons.

The list of contraband items includes cell phones, controlled drugs, firearms including imitation firearms and offensive weapons.

The Prison Amendment Act 2013 would increase prison terms from six to 12 months and increase fines from $500 to $2,000.

Mr Dunkley is also scheduled to introduce The Proceeds of Crime Amendment 2013, which would allow money confiscated from criminals to be used by community-based organisations and sports clubs.

Beneficiary organisations must be registered as a charity under the Charities Act 1978. And sport clubs are defined as organisations dedicated to “a particular sporting activity which is regulated by a sport governing body in Bermuda”.

If passed, the legislation clears the way for organisations to receive funds from the Confiscated Assets Fund, “on the approval of the Minister responsible for legal affairs and the Minister of Finance”.

The Firearms Amendment Act 2013, also to be introduced by Mr Dunkley today, is designed to facilitate shooting events for the Island Games hosted by Bermuda this summer. The bill allows persons taking part in shooting competitions to import firearms for the purpose.

It also carries stipulations for temporary licences to be granted in connection with sanctioned shooting competitions for firearms and ammunition.

Parliamentarians will also debate amendments to the Companies Act.

Amendments to the Human Rights Act, which were tabled on May 17, will not be debated today.

Community Development Minister Wayne Scott said the bill could be debated as early as next week. “It could go later as well. The whole point there is it will be done this session,” he said.

Sessions House: The scene of political debate today (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm)

Dunkley seeks to combat prison smuggling

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