Jamaica's youngest detective to target white-collar criminals

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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More than 220 Jamaicans have been awarded Chevening Scholarships since it was first introduced in 1983. Chevening is the United Kingdom Government's global scholarship programme that offers future leaders the opportunity to study in the UK. This year, 19 outstanding young Jamaicans were selected for the scholarships. Over this week the Jamaica Observer will share the stories of some of the 2019-2020 awardees.

WHEN Jamaica's youngest detective sergeant Adrian Wellington returns to the island in 2020, equipped with an MSc in Forensic Accounting, he intends to undertake an extensive study into financial crimes in the country.

The 26-year-old cop, who is the sub-officer in charge of quality audit and assurance in the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Polygraph Unit, says he is eager to explore the emergence, dynamics and impact of this type of crime on Jamaica, as well as its residual effects.

“The issue of financial crimes, such as credit card fraud, money laundering, cheque fraud, identity theft, and lottery scamming, has been plaguing the Jamaican society for some time and has extended to other countries [with] which Jamaica has cultivated much effort into establishing and maintaining strong diplomatic ties,” said Wellington, who is headed to Northumbria University in Newcastle in a few weeks as one of the 2019/2020 Chevening Scholarship awardees.

“Therefore, I view the issue of financial crimes as a threat to my country's national security, and a corrosive substance eroding not only Jamaica's image, but her long-standing regional and international partnerships that she has worked so tirelessly to create,” added Wellington, who sees the Chevening Scholarship as a “prestigious opportunity”.

He argued that his time at Northumbria, combined with his integrity as a Jamaican law enforcement officer, will more than equip him with the necessary technical skills, knowledge and zeal to combat white collar crimes in Jamaica.

“My planned study of financial crimes will form the foundation of my long-term career objective, which is to identify the structural deficiency in the current financial investigation field and assist the Jamaican Government in filling these gaps, to fortify the fight against these crimes,” declared Wellington.

“In the long term, I also plan to contribute to the gradual overall improvement of the Financial Investigation Division in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in my country, as well as the local investigative processes.

“I plan on achieving this by examining the standard operating procedures of all stakeholders involved in the fight against financial crimes, with a view of sharing best practices I would have gained by studying in the UK,” he said.

The Kingstonian further explained that he is keen to establish a recurring public education and awareness campaign on financial crimes in Jamaica.

“As part of my contribution to improving my local financial crimes unit, I will create a financial crime education campaign using traditional and social media platforms as interactive tools to engage and inform the general public in Jamaica, about the issue of white-collar crime in its entirety,” said Wellington, who declared that crime-fighting and achieving a safe society are in the best interest of every Jamaican.

“It is pertinent that the average Jamaican be apprised of this serious issue. This initiative will be called LEAF-C (Law Enforcement Against Financial Crimes), and as I already stated, I will use social and traditional media to interact with the public through question-and-answer sessions. This will include social media town halls and podcasts, newspaper ads, and community town halls, to provide a comprehensive education package to create and maintain white-collar crime awareness in the public sphere.

“This opportunity of being a Chevening awardee will be a valuable addition to my personal and professional growth as a mentor to the younger generation and as a law enforcement officer. Finally, this venture will afford me the opportunity to assist in my country's 2030 vision, in which Jamaica can be a place for all to live, work, raise families, and do business,” said Wellington.


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