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National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, is warning corrupt public officials and professionals, who help to facilitate the illicit activities of criminal kingpins, that they will feel the force of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA).

In his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 19, Minister Bunting noted that the unit is specifically designed to address those criminal kingpins, who have operated with impunity over a long period of time and the corrupt public officials and other professionals such as bankers, lawyers, and accountants, who facilitate their illicit activities.

“We have been talking about this for a long time and I really hope that these professional groups take our warning seriously, if they do not, they are going to feel the full force of MOCA,” he stated.

The Minister pointed out that the slogan of the task force is “taking the profit out of crime,” hence “we are going to ensure that we go after their money”.

He noted that criminal kingpins may be willing, as a risk of their occupation, to do a few years in prison, but the Ministry is ensuring that “when they do their few years and get out of prison they are also broke; so we are ensuring that we follow all convictions with operations to forfeit the illicitly gained assets of these criminals.”

The Security Minister informed that the country is starting to reap successes from the establishment of the MOCA and he expects that in the months and years to come, the task force will be the catalyst for a “large reduction” in major organised crime in Jamaica.

The unit, which became operational in September 2012, is mandated to gather intelligence on long and short- term targets, and provide evidential leads for investigators to conduct arrest and seizure operations. It has, as its overriding objective, the dismantling of major organised crime syndicates and taking the profit out of crime.

The skills of team members are forensic in nature, and are focused on areas such as the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes as well as asset forfeiture.

MOCA is supported principally by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), along with local and international partners. The local associates include the Financial Investigation Division (FID), Customs Department, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Passport and Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Contact: Andrea Braham