I WRITE with a deep sense of hurt and concern as crime continues. Citizens, quite rightly are concerned as criminals/ bandits in the drug trade kill each other and, unfortunately, innocent bystanders as well. We have these heinous murders triggered by domestic abuse and misplaced passion, which connect the level of education.
Having spent the majority of my working life in business, spanning just under 50 years, I reflect on why we are where we are. Why are the levels of integrity and care so low in the values of our society that was once honest and full of love?
Crime has manifested violently in our society but I think ! it is reversible but as a country we must be prepared to see where we have gone wrong and understand the great sacrifices to reverse it.
Reflecting on my business experiences, I believe that white collar crime is the nucleus of that slippery slope. I refer to tax evasion and corruption that has taken place and continue unabated to provide the environment of facilitation of crime.
Corruption in the award of contracts from the public sector has a long history in our country and we have countless examples starting from when I was still at school right up to the recent charges of certain contractors for bid rigging. The impact of this as we have been told is that those funds could have been used to improve the taxpayers’ lives.
Coming to the area where it is more obvious is that of tax evasion. A study b! ack in 2016/17 stated that taxpayer! s have been deprived of funding in the region of $11 to 15 billion per annum! Then the Finance Minister referred to a recent study showing that some $3 billion in VAT are being siphoned from the taxpayers!
One only has to look at the lifestyles of many and it raises the question ‘how have they amassed that wealth?’ I know the State is trying to get some form of legislation to address that and as a senior citizen, I look forward to the first prosecution under that legislation.
To my point, white collar crime was being committed a long time so the current type of crime which involves loss of lives is a natural derivative.
We have to rid our society of tax evasion and corruption as they are some of the hydra heads of crime. We need the
fortitudinous leadership of making some ‘leaders’ of our society pay the price of their white collar crimes and perhaps have as their neighbours in the cell next door those drug dealers who must also pay for their crimes.
Based on my past experiences and knowledge, the chambers of commerce, the various contracting organisations, the financial institutions must now seize the opportunity and collaborate with the proposed revenue authority, not forgetting the attorneys and medical practitioners who must now start giving back through correct taxes.
In my mind killing those white collar hydra heads of crime is a start in dealing with what we are experiencing today as lives are lost daily.