The Government is working to improve investigation and prosecution in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing, by providing training for law-enforcement officers.
This is according to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Fayval Williams, who said law-enforcement officers are now engaged in a Financial Investigation Training and Accreditation Programme, aimed at building their investigative capacity.
The programme was launched on Monday (January 14), at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus. It will be conducted from January 14 to 25.
“The design and delivery of a bespoke financial investigation training course that will equip our law-enforcement officers with the knowledge and confidence to robustly apply proceeds of crime legislation is a clear sign of our commitment,” she said, in a speech read by her Senior Advisor, Viralee Bailey-Latibeaudiere, at the launch.
Williams said this training represents the beginning of a new era in financial investigation and the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) in Jamaica.
“The course will train law-enforcement officers in the full utilisation of the investigative tools available under the POCA and other related laws, to fully investigate and prosecute cases of money laundering and other financial crimes,” she informed.
In addition, the course will equip officers with the knowledge of how to conduct other specialised measures to deprive criminals of the proceeds of crime.
Williams said this aspect of the programme is key as the Government works to strengthen measures aimed at curtailing the use of funds acquired through criminal activities.
To this end, she encouraged agencies working in the area of financial investigation and asset recovery to work closer with the Government in “stripping away the notion that crime pays”.
“We must provide, locally, regionally and internationally, a united front and ensure there is no hiding place in Jamaica for the proceeds of crime, be it derived here or abroad,” she said.
“I would urge you to continue your efforts to hit the criminal where it hurts – in their wallets,” she added.
The course, which is endorsed by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), is a programme of the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID).