JCA, FID to tackle financial crimes
Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts Walker and FID’s Chief Technical Director Selvin Hay sealed the partnership to share intelligence as the country intensifies the battle against money laundering.

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) and the Financial Investigations Division (FID) have entered in strategic partnership aimed at strengthening both organisation’s response to money laundering, organised crime, fraud and other financial crimes.

JCA CEO and Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts Walker and FID’s Chief Technical Director Selvin Hay sealed the partnership between their respective organisations on June 7, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which establishes a “strategic working relationship between the entities”. The bilateral agreement will also foster deeper levels of collaboration with information-sharing as its core pillar.

As such, both the JCA and FID will engage in the exchange of intelligence in various forms.

“Today’s signing is important and significant; the work done by both entities is a critical part of the country’s anti-money laundering framework. The JCA’s duty and function in border protection feeds into the delivery of our mandate in combatting financial crime,” Hay stated.

“This MOU will formalise the long-standing arrangement and working relationship we’ve had over the years. The issues of major organised crime to include drug trafficking and firearms trafficking are being tackled. The role that Jamaica Customs plays is crucial and so is the partnership with other law enforcement agencies. Formalising our collaboration in this way today will put us all in a stronger position,” he continued.

According to the MOU, the JCA will provide the FID with access to customs areas, necessary information and more, while the FID will offer the JCA technical support, training and proper management of cash seizure investigations, among other things.

As a result, both organisations are hoping to realise improvements in the criminal investigations while executing their statutory mandates and fulfilling their responsibilities under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Commenting on the agreement, JCA’s CEO Ricketts Walker noted, “The Jamaica Customs Agency welcomes more partnerships such as this as we uphold our mission to include border protection, and remain relentless in making certain criminal transnational networks are stifled [as] individuals become compliant.”

The JCA CEO pointed out that the collaboration in the exchange of information will allow the orgnisation to proactively combat the cross-border movement of organised criminal activities.

“Though we investigate, it tends to be a past event; but what we do in our collaboration with information sharing serves as a proactive or preventative measure. The joint use of intelligence will assist us in monitoring the movement and patterns of criminals and to detect, investigate and prosecute the breaches of any applicable laws,” she stated.

Last year the FID signed similar MOUs with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Agency, and the Integrity Commission.

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