Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Frank L.R. Manborde | Police, scammers and cybercriminals

Published:Friday | February 21, 2020 | 12:34 AMFrank L.R. Manborde/Guest Columnist
The Financial Action Task Force is the global standard-setter for money laundering and terrorist financing rules and FATF has increased its scrutiny of countries’ implementation of its 40 recommendations.
The Financial Action Task Force is the global standard-setter for money laundering and terrorist financing rules and FATF has increased its scrutiny of countries’ implementation of its 40 recommendations.

Recently, I wrote in this newspaper about the devastating consequences of scamming and cybercrimes affecting Westmoreland, and of the need for the government to spare no effort to go after those who are hiding and scamming across the parish.

This article will focus on another side of the issue of scamming and cybercrimes and the security forces. Sometime ago, a former police commissioner, who also headed the Jamaica Defence Force, commented on a prominent radio talk show that during his tenure as police commissioner, informed police intelligence showed that a great number of police officers working within the St James police division were working closely with notorious, wealthy and known scammers and were providing police protection for them, thus making it much more difficult for the Jamaica Constabulary Force to investigate, arrest and prosecute those who are operating with impunity in the parish, and other regions of western Jamaica.

Scammers were using their significant wealth and inflow of cash to contaminate, bribe and get corrupt police officers to protect them, and, in some cases, get officers to collect their illegal scamming monies coming from the United States of America and other countries.

It is of utmost importance, and of great priority and national security for the police commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, with the assistance of the Ministry of National Security and Jamaica Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff, Rocky Meade, to implement a strategy, incognito, to thoroughly investigate corrupt police officers working with scammers, and have them arrested and charged for their criminal acts.

Many scammers are also involved in local and international cybercrimes, with identity theft and other forms of financial crimes, causing extensive reputational damage to Jamaica.

Police officers who are mixed up in scamming and cybercrimes must be found and extricated from the police force in the shortest possible time so that the scamming rate will be reduced.

I am calling for the police’s lottery scamming taskforce to be expanded with additional detectives to consistently go after the scammers and corrupt police officers.

A main reason why some scammers are not being found and caught is because those corrupt police officers are shielding and protecting them.

This must be addressed in an organised, forceful and strategic manner. Citizens who have information on those scammers, cybercriminals and officers involved in lottery scamming must be arrested and charged for such serious crimes.

Through this medium, I am calling for the return of Sergeant Kevin Watson to the police’s lottery scamming taskforce. Business persons who are involved in money laundering for lottery scammers should and must be investigated and charged for their participation in lottery scamming and cybercrimes.

The fact is that scamming and cybercrimes are having an impact on all forms of crime, including murder in western Jamaica, and the issue must be cauterised before it gets worse. Over to you, Minister Chang, Commissioner Anderson, and Chief of Defence Staff Rocky Meade.

Frank L.R. Manborde is the chairman for Little London Development Committee in Grange Hill, Westmoreland. Send feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.