The Financial Investigations Division (FID) was successful in securing the forfeiture of approximately JMD 1.5M and USD 20,000 in four separate cases across the island over the period February 3 – 16, 2023.
The cash forfeitures were achieved using the civil provisions under section 79 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). This means that no criminal convictions materialised in these proceedings. Rather, in each case, the state filed civil action to forfeit the cash on the basis that it was, more likely than not, either earned from, or intended for use in, criminal conduct.
The alleged criminal conduct ranged breaching various sections of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, rape, attempting to pervert the course of justice, and advance fee fraud (lottery scamming).
The FID’s Principal Director of Investigations, Keith Darien noted, “It is rare when criminal activities do not have a financial element. Often times perpetrators of crime are seeking to gain or expand their wealth through different illegal undertakings. In one of these February cases, the accused tried using money to keep his victim and her family quiet. Actions like these will most certainly be met with punishment and any assets used in the commission of the crime or represent the proceeds of crime, will be pursued by the FID and forfeited to the government.
I wholeheartedly thank our hardworking colleagues on the ground in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, especially those with whom we work closely with in the Constabulary Financial Unit. It is their vigilance and competence in the application of the law which ensure the use of POCA in moments when laying charges for predicate offences.
We encourage the public to shun criminals and the lifestyle sponsored by their ill-gotten gains. Instead you’re invited to partner with the FID and share with us what you know about illegal financial activities.”
Meanwhile, the FID’s Director of Legal Services, Courtney Smith added, “It is important for the public to become more familiar with the POCA and be guided by it. This will make breaches less likely. In matters of law there is no bliss in ignorance. Visit the FID website or do online searches; take time to read and understand POCA. It is a powerful legislation which the FID and other authorised agencies will not hesitate to apply – and we continue to do so with increasing success.”
See background to cases below
- February 3, 2023 ruling
On July 5, 2018, police personnel attached to the Westmoreland division eecuted an intelligence-led spot check along Scott Cove Main Road in Westmoreland. Officers signalled a white 1992 Toyota Corolla to stop. The vehicle was being driven by the target of the operation, Glenroy Calvin, a 34-year-old mechanic of Bottom Pen in St James.
During a search of the motor car, two small bags containing JMD 310,000 were found under the housing of the gear stick lever. Calvin indicated that the money was not his. A further search of the car revealed an AK-47 assault rifle strapped to the under carriage of the vehicle bound to the muffle pipe with binding wire and a magazine containing three live rounds of ammunition were found concealed in a section of the dashboard. The cash was seized under section 75 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
On February 3, 2023 in the Westmoreland Parish Court the cash totalling JMD 310,000 which was seized from Glenroy Calvin plus all interest accrued was ordered forfeited to the Crown.
- February 7, 2023 ruling
In 2016, a team from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) acting on intelligence, visited a premises in Duhaney Park, St. Andrew. There were three adults in the house – a male suspect in a rape case and the parents of the victim.
The suspect, Mickael Brown, a 30-year-old Security Guard of a Duhaney Park address, was observed holding cash which he indicated was JMD 100,000. In Brown’s presence the police asked the parents about his visit, the mother replied that he came to offer money to dissuade them from pursuing justice. Brown did not object or comment.
He was arrested and subsequently charged with Rape and Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice. The cash was seized under section 75 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
On June 10, 2022, Justice Bertram Linton convicted Mickael Brown, sentencing him to 10 years imprisonment at hard labour for Rape and one year imprisonment at hard labour for Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.
On October 6, 2022, a forfeiture application was filed at the Corporate Area Parish Court – Civil Division. On January 16, 2023, appeared in court indicating that he had no interest in retaining an attorney nor was he contesting the forfeiture application.
On February 7, 2023, Senior Parish Judge for the Corporate Area, Her Honour Ms. Alecia McIntosh, ordered that cash in the amount of JMD 100,000 plus all interest accrued be forfeited to the Crown.
- February 9, 2023 ruling
While conducting an operation in Old Harbour, St. Catherine at about 7:35pm on March 16, 2019, officers from the JCF’s Narcotics Division and the St. Catherine North Police stopped and searched a motor vehicle being driven by Mark Anthony Brown, a 45-year-old St. Catherine businessman.
The search revealed USD 20,000 in a shoulder bag in the rear cabin. Brown was taken into custody and charged under section 75 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Parish Court Judge Ms. L. Creary-Dixon on February 9, 2023 ordered that cash amounting to USD20,000 seized from Mark Anthony Brown be forfeited to the Crown along with all interest accrued.
- February 16, 2023 ruling
Acting on certain information, on July 22, 2021 members of the Trelawny Police Intelligence Unit conducted an operation at the home of Roshea ‘Stitch’ McIntosh, an unemployed 33-year-old man, of Jackson Town, Trelawny.
During the operation McIntosh, his three-storey house and white Toyota Mark X were searched. An iPhone was removed from his person which contained information that strongly suggested participation in Advanced Fee Fraud (Lottery Scamming). McIntosh also declared he was in possession of approximately JMD 1 million (JMD 1,074,500) stored under a bed inside the house; JMD 63,000 was found in the car.
During the search, Ransford Jarrett, a 63-year-old farmer of a Trelawny address, entered the premises claiming ownership of the cash. Both men were transported to the Falmouth Police station along with the cash. Mr. McIntosh was charged for breaches of the Law Reform Act. Mr Jarrett gave a statement to the police accounting for the source of the cash and was released. The cash was seized under section 75 of the Proceed of Crime Act (POCA).
Parish Court Judge Ms. Ruth Lawrence presided over the matter on February 16, 2023 and ordered that cash totalling JMD 1,137,500.00 seized from McIntosh and claimed by Jarrett, be forfeited to the Crown along with all interest accrued.