Jamaica agency against organised crime making progress

(Jamaica Observer) LITTLE under a year since its launch, the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA) has seized cash and drugs worth at least J$357 million, as it makes steady headway in taking the profits out of organised crime in Jamaica.

The task force has also arrested at least 12 persons and seized a fleet of motor vehicles used by criminals. It has also made significant dents in the lotto scam, which is rife within the western parishes of the island.

The latest and biggest drug bust came last Saturday when the investigatory arm seized some J$264 million worth of cocaine in St James.

Three persons — including a contractor from the Guardsman security company — were arrested in that operation, which saw the highly priced contraband being transported in one of the security company’s marked motor vehicles.

“MOCA is committed to taking the profits out of crime, we are committed to going after the major players and we will continue to carry out our mandate in putting a serious dent on the whole organised crime scene,” said MOCA’s liaison officer Inspector Dahlia Garrick, following last weeks’ bust on the Mount Carey main road.

Garrick said that last week’s drug seizure was the culmination of a series of intelligence-driven operations facilitated by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force, as well as the Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division.

“In recent weeks you would have seen where MOCA has been going on some major operations, going on some major scenes and we have been making some level of success,” noted Garrick. “The lottery scam task force is a part of MOCA as well, and you would have seen the good job that they have been doing to disrupt lottery scam activities,” she added.

On April 4, last year, Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, launched the task force, justifying its relevance and importance to Jamaica’s crime-fighting efforts.

Bunting said that MOCA would target crime kingpins and facilitators, including lawyers, bankers and other public officials, and that it would only investigate selected cases.

“Targeting these top bosses and their facilitators is a most effective way of degrading criminal network, seizing their assets and undermining their power, which ultimately allows the network to be permanently dismantled,” Bunting said.

MOCA comprises representatives from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force, the Financial Investigations Division, and the Taxpayer Audit and Assessment Department.

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