New York, USA — Two influential Jamaicans, who claim they have information linking prominent local officials to corruption and fraud, say they won't be accepting an invitation from the Integrity Commission to share their information in confidence.
The two — Herb Nelson, who spent 15 years in the United States intelligence community and over two decades in the military; and former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agent Wilfred Rattigan – said they had a “strong belief that to provide any assistance to the commission would be an exercise in futility”.
They further alleged that some of the Jamaican investigative organs had demonstrated “an abject failure to protect information and sources”.
As part of a joint statement, Nelson — a former North America representative for CYBERPOL, the international cyber policing organisation – said he was commissioned by a third party in Jamaica to initiate a public corruption investigation of prominent Jamaican politicians.
He did not name the third party or the prominent Jamaican politicians.
Nelson said the results of CYBERPOL's comprehensive report were provided to the requesting party circa 2019, but that to his knowledge nothing had been done, although he had been assured in writing by a sitting member of Parliament, that the investigative results were forwarded to the Integrity Commission.
He vowed that in light of that development, he had no additional information to provide the commission.
But asked by the Jamaica Observer to comment on the claims, executive director of the Integrity Commission Greg Christie said the commission had no knowledge of the submission of the alleged report to it. But he left the door open.
“Anyone who is aware of, or is interested in having the commission investigate any matter which concerns alleged corruption, is invited to bring the matter to the commission's director of information and complaints in confidence and, in so doing to provide the particulars of the corruption that is being alleged,” said Christie.
Regarding the CYBERPOL report, Christie said that the same advice applied. “The authors of that report, whomever they might be, should feel free to submit a copy of the report in confidence directly to the director of information and complaints.”
He further advised that the commission is prohibited by section 53 of the Integrity Commission Act from commenting on its investigations.
However, Rattigan listed several issues he said continued to plague efforts to deal with the matters of corruption and fraud in high places, among them, that the Jamaican public had little confidence in the investigative institutions to effectively address public corruption.
Rattigan, who is now an attorney licensed to practise before the United States court, also claimed that international organisations had consistently identified public corruption as a threat to Jamaica's national security.
He noted that despite the outstanding work being done by some of the local investigate agencies, particularly the Integrity Commission and the Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency (MOCA), “they generally act in silos except for the occasional cooperation with strategic partners”.
Arguing that no one had been prosecuted, convicted and sentenced in recent times – despite the fact that Jamaica's politics “is replete with numerous scandals” – he had no interest in providing “any more information relative to public corruption and fraud in Jamaica”.