Govt. Receives $1.5 Million From Canada Under MLAT


The Government has received approximately $1.5 million from its Canadian counterpart as part of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between both countries, which facilitates co-operation in the fight against criminal activities.
The funds are part proceeds from the forfeited account of an incarcerated Canadian drug dealer, who was involved in the trafficking of narcotics from Jamaica to Canada.
Minister of National Security, Colonel Trevor MacMillan, who received the cheque from Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Denis Kingsley, during a brief handing over ceremony at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices today (July 29), said that the funds would be invested in local police counter narcotics operations. Describing the MLAT as “alive and well”, the Minister said both countries were committed to “keeping criminal activities out of their space.”
“There is no question that the criminal underworld is determined, sophisticated, and ruthless. Our intelligence tells us that the tentacles of organized crime extend far and wide, and require our joint efforts to immobilize those international criminals,” he stated.
Col. MacMillan informed that locally, emphasis was being placed on strengthening border patrols, but acknowledged awareness of the more sophisticated activities in which criminals were involved.
“I know that in Canada, like Jamaica, financial fraud is a growing concern (and) includes stealing credit cards and personal identities, marketing illegal pyramid schemes, manipulating stocks, fraudulent telemarketing, and mortgage crimes. We are told that identity theft is widespread in Canada. We have to guard ourselves against it in Jamaica (because) it has happened in Jamaica,” the Minister said.
The Minister stressed the importance of agreements such as MLAT in the “globalized environment”, which he pointed out, was being utilized by a growing number of jurisprudences, and mandated signatory countries to participate in efforts to solve the criminal activities affecting those states. “I can declare that Jamaica stands ready in the fight against all types of organized crime,” Senator MacMillan asserted.
Mr. Kingsley, for his part, said the presentation represented Canada’s trust in Jamaica’s capacity to fight crime, noting improvements in the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) capabilities, which he said has been strengthened. He also pledged the Canadian government’s commitment to continuing the collaborative efforts at fighting crime in both countries.
“This is a sign that things are going very well between the two countries. It’s a sign of collaboration, it’s a sign of our desire to try and fight something that is international. Jamaica is fighting well with us, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you. We hope that it will continue, and we know that it will continue. Somewhere down the line, we will be the winners of this process,” Mr. Kingsley said.
The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which was signed in 1999, has seen Jamaica receiving in excess of $2 million from collaborative initiatives undertaken with Canada to counter criminal activities affecting both countries, among other benefits.

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