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The Financial Investigations Division (FID) Act, which gives the Financial Investigations Division in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, the authority to probe crimes involving money laundering and fraud, as well as the financing of terrorist activities, was approved by the Senate on Friday (March 26).
Leader of Government Business in the Senate and Minister of Justice, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne,who piloted the Bill, explained that Governments, worldwide, have been coming together to combat financial crimes.
“This Bill seeks to incorporate the necessary functions that will facilitate local investigations, as well as cooperation with other countries,” Senator Lightbourne said.
The (FID) will be responsible for the compilation and publication of statistics on matters such as investigations, prosecutions, convictions and assets relating to financial crimes, for dissemination to other law enforcement agencies, regulators and policy makers.
The Bill will enable the FID to maintain intelligence database, inter alia, the types of financial crimes and methodologies used in committing these crimes.
Financial crimes result in the loss of millions of dollars to the Jamaican economy. In addition, these crimes cause serious damage to the efficiency and reputation of the country’s financial institutions and markets.
These crimes are often very complex in nature and may involve a wide range of illegal activities, requiring responsive measures utilizing highly trained investigators, attorneys- at- law, forensic accountants, analyst and asset managers.