Jamaica no safe haven for international criminals, says commissioner
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson addressing a media briefing at Jamaica House on Sunday.

Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson says that the expanding intelligence capacity of Jamaica's security forces is making the country unsafe for fugitives.

Speaking at the media briefing on Sunday during which Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared sections of Westmoreland the island's latest zone of special operations (ZOSO), Anderson said the police's apprehension of two people allegedly linked to the assassination of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was evidence of this development.

“The fact that our intelligence led us to apprehending them suggests that it is not really a safe place for people to flee to because we will find them if they come here,” declared Anderson.

He was responding to a question on whether the fact that the two — who are wanted in Haiti in connection with the killing of Moïse — fled to Jamaica was an indication that the country was considered a “safe haven” for criminal fugitives.

Anderson accepted that people on the run from international law enforcement agencies could try to slip into the island and noted that this is particularly true of people leaving Haiti because of the prolonged illegal drugs for guns trade involving criminals from the two countries.

“There are also persons who have family on both sides because that trade has been going on for some time. We also have other directions and vectors where persons enter our water and space. I know the Jamaica Defence Force has been doing a lot to stop this and prevent it, but one or two will come in. But, if they do get in, our intelligence largely will point us in the direction where they are. So we will be able to apprehend them,” he explained.

Haitian politician John Joel Joseph, reportedly a key suspect in the assassination of Moïse, has been detained by the local police since Friday. He was captured in St Elizabeth by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC) and detained along with his wife and two children.

A former Colombian military officer, Mario Anonio Palacios Palacios, who has also been linked to the assassination, was deported from Kingston after he was arrested while seeking a safe haven in Jamaica.

He was enroute to Colombia from Jamaica when he was intercepted in Panama by United States law enforcement agents and flown to Florida where he was arrested and charged for the conspiracy.

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

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