New taskforce to take the profit out of crime
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday June 08, 2012 – The Jamaica Government is targeting the “big boys” in organised crime and corruption with a new multi-agency taskforce that aims to take the profit out of crime.
The Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA), which was launched by National Security Minister Peter Bunting this week, will focus on identifying, investigating and prosecuting major players engaging in organised crimes, their facilitators, and corrupt public officials. In the process, the entity will confiscate illegally obtained proceeds, thereby taking the profits out of crime.
The Task Force’s core staff will comprise members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), with support from the Ministry of Justice; and the Ministry of Finance and Planning through the Financial Investigation Division (FID), Customs Department, and Taxpayer Audit and Assessment Department (TAAD), as well as civilian personnel.
Former head of the Narcotics Division, Assistant Commissioner Carl Williams, has been appointed MOCA’s Director.
Minister Bunting said at the launch that the taskforce’s establishment signalled a “change in policy emphasis”, shifting focus from street level criminals to target persons identified as the kingpins and their facilitators, who “enjoy and control the profits”.
Bunting said intelligence has shown that criminals are not currently engaged in illicit activities such as the trafficking of narcotics or guns, but are “in the business of making money”.
“Crime is motivated, primarily, by profit and the only way to permanently reduce the level of crime is to take the profit out of crime,” the minister said , while pointing out that the taskforce was one of the recommendations coming out of the drafting of the 2012/16 National Security Policy.
He went on to advise that the taskforce will be supported by experienced prosecutors and forensic accountants, with additional contributions from liaison officers affiliated with other relevant local and international agencies.
He further noted that MOCA will be “selective” in its operations, focusing primarily on “high value” targets and cases that “have a profoundly negative impact on our national security environment”.
“We are today embarking on a challenging but profoundly important initiative. We are also hoping that Jamaicans of good will, who have information about the operations of the concealed assets of these kingpins, their facilitators, or corrupt public officials, will pass on this information to MOCA,” Bunting said, while assuring that their confidentiality will be safeguarded.
MOCA’s Director, assured that the new agency will not duplicate the operations of any of the JCF’s other Divisions, but rather complement them.
He also assured of the integrity of MOCA’s staff, advising that candidates had undergone the most rigorous selection criteria and testing procedures, inclusive of polygraph examinations, prior to recruitment.