Seychelles sets up new National Intelligence Agency to fight crime
The National Assembly Building. (Joena Meme)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles’ National Assembly has approved the setting up of an intelligence agency to coordinate the gathering of information with the aim of addressing the level of crime in the island nation.
A proposed bill was presented to the Assembly -- the island nation’s legislative body -- last week by the Jean-Paul Adam on behalf of the government.
“It is essential to reinforce the national capacity to use intelligence to break the network that has both national and international aspects and it is important that we put all our effort to address it,” said Adam in his presentation.
Work on the proposed bill was carried out by the Bills Committee in the National Assembly in collaboration with other local partners in June.
The Seychelles’ Intelligence Agency, once set up, is expected to be the coordinating body between all local agencies collecting information and ensure that there will be appropriate actions in a systematic way.
It was the President of Seychelles, Danny Faure, who announced the setting up of a National Intelligence Agency in his State of the Nation address last year.
“We must accelerate the efficiency of prevention, detection and prosecution system and relook at the level of support they get. In this context, I am reviewing the mandate of the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit). A new bill on the creation of a National Intelligence Agency on security will also be presented to the National Assembly in May this year,” Faure said.
Adam said that the intelligence agency will help address several of the population’s concerns such as the ability of the country to address the drug scourge.
He added that this will also help address the issue of ill-gotten gains, maritime risks including illegal fishing and other illegal activities.
The service will also facilitate the sharing of information with international partners.
“This is because we have to remember always that in the criminal network in today’s world, the local network can sometimes have global aspects,” said Adam.
The proposed intelligence service will emphasize the protection of the citizens of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
Concerns were raised earlier this year when human bone remains and a skull were left at the Takamaka church in the South of Mahe, the main island, signed by 'The Syndicate.' Similar incidents followed suit at the St Andre church in Cascade and at the Pointe Au Sel chapel followed by intimidating audio recording threatening several people.
So far no arrest has been made but the Superintendent of the police, Jean Toussaint, said in an interview with the press, “We are giving this investigation all the merit it needs in order to identify who are the people behind this activity and bring them to justice at the earliest.”
Adam said the proposed intelligence service "provides a clear cadre for circumstances where appropriate measures can be used to get information and where necessary intercept communication or take similar actions to address any risks or threats with activities that a citizen can do under the new section 17 and 18."
The law will further make provision for the creation of a National Council for Intelligence that will be headed by President Danny Faure and will include the Attorney General, Commissioner of Police, and representatives from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).