A former head of the armed forces is set to come out of two years of retirement to establish a new agency to fight corruption and organized crime in Barbados, Prime Minister Mia Mottley today announced.

Retired Barbados Defence Force Chief of Staff Colonel Alvin Quintyne is being tapped for the formation of the Major Organised Crimes and Anti-Corruption Agency, she told reporters at a post-Cabinet briefing at Bay Street. She said Barbados needs a dedicated agency in the fight against corruption.

Quintyne spent 13 years of a 40-year BDF career as its leader, retiring on January 31, 2017. He was succeeded by Colonel Glyne Grannum.

Mottley said: “Cabinet agreed today to give drafting instructions to the Attorney General to have the chief parliamentary counsel draft a piece of legislation that will allow us to establish the Major Organised Crimes and Anti-Corruption Agency.”

Parliament had approved the sum of $1 million in this year’s Estimates to start-up the new crime-fighting agency.

The Prime Minister said an established framework was first necessary, which in this case included the requisite legislation and personnel.

Mottley explained that the legislation would detail the agency’s powers, responsibilities would be and allied agencies and departments of Government.

She said she expected the new agency to work closely with police, the white-collar crime investigation unit and Crown prosecutors.

It would as also be fully expected to work with overseas agencies as required, she said.

Mottley gave assurances that Government is doing everything in its power to protect against all types of criminals.

“You can’t be a country with open borders and not be susceptible to all kinds of threats and it is our intention to be able to protect Barbados as far as we can,” the Prime Minister said.