Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Bankers' Association advocates for fraud court

Published:Sunday | August 17, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Parchment

Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Lloyd Parchment, chairman of the Jamaica Bankers' Association (JBA) Anti Fraud Committee, believing the scourge of financial fraud has taken firm root in local society, is advocating for a specialised court to handle matters of that nature.

"The conviction success rate is not very high, and one of the things that we at the Jamaica Bankers' Association will be clamouring for, and we have a lot of support in the private sector for this and even in many areas of the police force, is a specialised court to prosecute financial fraud," Parchment told The Sunday Gleaner recently. "That is something that we feel is an absolute necessity right now to tackle this scourge of fraud that is taking over society."

JUSTICE IS SLOW AND TEDIOUS

Parchment highlighted that with the major areas of fraud - cheque, and credit and debit card - affecting Jamaica, the customers are the ones who invariably feel the pinch, with most funds being diverted from their accounts elsewhere. And for these customers, the attempt at getting justice is a slow and tedious process.

"Typically, a fraud case, even simple cases of fraud, does not get to be tried anywhere under three years from the point from which it was reported as a case, to the point where it gets on the trial list," Parchment said.

"In quite a few of the cases that I have been involved with, there is just loss of interest on the part of the witnesses, and so the cases peter out."

Parchment said the inadequacies of the justice system continue to work more in favour of the fraudsters than their victims.

"It gets them because they know that it is hardly likely that they are going to be brought to trial anytime soon, and because of this, it is hardly likely that, at the end of the day when the matter reaches trial, they are going to be prosecuted, because there is going to quite likely be the absence of witnesses. So the fraudsters prey on the system; they know it quite well. It is very few of the fraudsters who do end up in prison based on how the system operates."

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com