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T&T’s lame fight against white-collar criminals

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The recent sea bridge fiasco further highlights T&T on the map as being a place friendly to international white-collar criminals and impotent to fend off white-collar crime. There is encouragement for internationals to partner with untouchable local criminals to together plunder the country.

White-collar criminals see T&T’s attractive perception of corruption index scores. “Trinidad and Tobago was the 101 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. Corruption Rank in Trinidad and Tobago averaged 69.44 from 2001 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 101 in 2016 and a record low of 31 in 2001.”

Government has a responsibility to prosecute white-collar fraud to dissuade white collar bandits preying on the country. It’s not government’s job to cover up fraud with contract cancellations and such like. Infringing procurement rules, assisting infringing procuring rules, forcing infringement of procurement rules, standing by aware of persons infringing, assisting infringing, forcing infringing don’t carry any criminal liability so no arrests are made.

Procurement rules are good for garbage. The feeling is the players, if found culpable, should go quietly; resign or dismissal. Not so fast. If fine and prison are fair for petty traffic offences, high fines and long prison time should pair with breach of procurement laws.

In criminology, blue-collar crime is any crime committed by an individual from a lower social class as opposed to white-collar crime which is associated with crime committed by someone of a higher-level social class.

Is blue crime a multi-billion dollar problem like white collar crime? Does blue collar crime have tentacles to do ruin to society like white-collar crime? In T&T an average 450 blue collar murders per year don’t shake the country like billions of dollars in government enabled/ignored bureaucratic racketeering and embezzlement. A few episodes of sharp white-collar crime robs the country as a whole every year. Notwithstanding this, T&T’s anti-crime defences are weakest against white-collar criminal violations.

Typical white-collar crimes could possibly include fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, labour racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft and forgery.

The most common white-collar offences include: antitrust violations, bankruptcy fraud, bribery, computer and internet fraud, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, economic espionage and trade secret theft, embezzlement, environmental law violations, financial institution fraud, government fraud, healthcare fraud, insider trading, insurance fraud, intellectual property theft/piracy, kickbacks, mail fraud, money laundering, securities fraud, tax evasion, phone and telemarketing fraud, and public corruption.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), white-collar crime is estimated to cost the United States more than $300 billion annually. Although typically the government charges individuals for white-collar crimes, the government has the power to sanction corporations as well for these offences.

The penalties for white-collar offences include fines, home detention, community confinement, paying the cost of prosecution, forfeitures, restitution, supervised release, and imprisonment. Sentencing guidelines suggest longer prison sentence whenever at least one victim suffered substantial financial harm. However, sanctions can be lessened if the defendant takes responsibility for the crime and assists the authorities in their investigation.

So I end with this, embezzle funds from under the all the state’s controls, checks and balances once, shame on you. Embezzle funds from under the all the state’s controls, checks and balances twice, shame on government’s inefficient controls, checks and balances. But embezzle funds from under the all the state’s controls, checks and balances every year, redounds to mass institutionalised corruption.

B Joseph


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