On September 7, 2023 the Financial Investigations Division (FID) successfully secured a Forfeiture Order against Mr. Donald Ho, a St. Andrew-based businessman, in the Corporate Area Parish Court (Civil Division). The matter was heard by Her Honour Ms. A. McIntosh.
Cash in the sum of J$658,500, US$150,955.00, £71 and CAN$85 was seized during a police operation at his premises in 2013; the operation was a part of a robbery investigation. Ho used all the legal channels available to him to challenge the forfeiture; this ended in futility.
In commenting on the matter, the FID’s Director of Legal Service, Mr. Courtney Smith, noted, “That is our job, that is why we exist. We have to pursue the proceeds of crime wherever it may be, whomever may have it and however long it may take.
This particular case shows the united resolve of the FID and our partner institutions, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The police officers and the legal team at the FID worked tirelessly to ensure that all the evidence was in place and all the evidence was presented to the Court to assist the Court in making this just decision.”
On April 9, 2013 a jewellery store located at the corner of Harbour Street and Church Street in Downtown Kingston was robbed. It was reported that 16 high value watches were stolen. One of the suspects fled the scene, leaving behind a cellular phone.
A swift and thorough cyber forensic examination of the device along with CCTV footage of the robbery lead JCF detectives to an address in St. Catherine which resulted in one of the suspects being questioned, arrested and charged. The police received further information from the interview which connected Donald Ho to the jewellery store robbery and other illegal activities.
On April 16, 2013, Mr. Ho was apprehended by the police following which a search was carried out at his Barbican, St. Andrew premises. This search resulted in the recovery and seizure of several items including jewellery believed to be the watches stolen from the jewellery store, an illegal firearm and cash in the sum of J$658,500, US$150,955.00, £71 and CAN$85.
Ho was charged for Possession of Criminal Property as well as Illegal Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition. He plead guilty to the gun and ammunition charge; the criminal property charge was dropped.
Following the criminal case against Mr. Ho, the FID pursued a Cash Forfeiture Application against the defendant which concluded with this ruling in the Corporate Area Parish Court (Civil Division).