Barbados played a key role in the recent arrest of two Chinese fugitives for whom the International Criminal Police Organization INTERPOL had issued arrest warrants, it was revealed today.
China’s Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao made the disclosure this morning at the signing of two treaties between Beijing and Bridgetown for closer cooperation in the suppression of crime.
Wang Chao gave no details of the operation – what role Barbados played or where the fugitives were captured – but he made it clear that China welcomed the assistance.
“At the beginning of the year, thanks to the vigorous support and assistance of law enforcement agencies of Barbados, two Chinese fugitives on the INTERPOL arrest warrant were arrested in the Caribbean region and repatriated back to China,” he said through an interpreter.
In what was China’s heaviest global crackdown on exiles in history, Interpol last year issued global arrest warrants for the 100 most-wanted corrupt Chinese officials who had fled overseas, 60 per cent of whom had allegedly committed bribery and graft.
Barbados and China this morning signed Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition treaties, paving the way for this country to get much-needed assistance from Beijing in criminal investigations, prosecutions and extradition proceedings.
The agreements, signed by Wang Chao and Acting Attorney General Michael Lashley, were based on mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefits, Lashley said at the signing ceremony at the Attorney General’s Office.
“The Government of Barbados is pleased to be signatory to these treaties since they provide additional avenues for intelligence gathering at a time of widespread transnational crime, including financial crime, cybercrime, human trafficking and smuggling,” he said.
“The activation of these treaties will add value to the law enforcement milieu and help to strengthen investigative capacities and capabilities,” Lashley added. (EJ)