Investigators from several law enforcement agencies convened at the second Financial Investigator's Course (FIC) at the Alhambra Inn, Kingston from March 2-13, 2020. The course was officially opened by Colonel Desmond Edwards, Director General (DG) of Major Organized and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) along with Selvin Hay, Chief Technical Director (CTD) of the Financial Investigations Division (FID).
The FIC concentrated on the use of Jamaica's Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), 2007 and the Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA), 2005. Law enforcement agencies that were present included:
• Major Organised and Anti- Corruption Agency (MOCA)
• Financial Investigations Division (FID)
• Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA)
• Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)
In his opening remarks, DG Edwards took the opportunity to highlight the need to widen the use of POCA across law enforcement and not limit it to specialized entities, such as the FID and MOCA. He further stated,
"That this course, the 2nd of its kind, with the support of the United Kingdom (UK) under its Caribbean Anti-corruption Programme (CACP) and part of the Financial Investigation Training and Accreditation Programme (FITAP) is timely in a number of ways. Not only to assist law enforcement to "Take the Profit Out of Crime" but also to ensure that criminals face the full effect of the law when apprehended for criminal activities. Additionally, it will demonstrate that Jamaica takes seriously, its international obligations in relation to anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism. It is important that in Jamaica more persons are charged with money laundering offences, when the opportunities are presented and this course will go a long way to ensure that there are more investigators with that capability".
DG Edwards concluded, "Money laundering investigations are linked to all types of criminality, not just financial crimes. Your participation in this course and your application of what you have learnt will help us create an environment in Jamaica and beyond, where the criminals will not only answer to the courts in respect of their actions but also, they will be pursued through the courts for the forfeiture of any assets deriving from that criminality".
In reiterating the need for a wider use of POCA, the Chief Technical Director of FID, Selvin Hay said, "No major investigation should be initiated in any law enforcement agency that does not have a financial investigation running parallel. Criminals in the main, commit crime for profit and we should be looking for the proceeds acquired and ensuring that these assets are forfeited within the parameters set out in legislation".
The course was supported as part of the UK's, Department of International Development (DFID) work in their Caribbean Anti-Corruption Programme (CACP).
Gary Dickson, Senior UK Consultant for CACP based at FID said that this course "is bespoke for Jamaica, and was designed by Jamaica in collaboration with the UK and is one of the tools being employed to integrate Financial Investigators across mainstream law enforcement. Money laundering takes many forms, it transcends national, regional and international boundaries and is recognized by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in their 40 recommendations, to which Jamaica is a signatory. The key in combatting money laundering is to ensure that intelligence and evidence are shared where legislation allows. It is heartening to see the wide spread of investigators attending this course and going forward they will not only know the law, but also, have contacts in other agencies that they communicate with, when the time is right".
For further information contact:
Corporate Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet/Daniel Passley