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Jamaican law enforcers get training in counterterrorism

Published:Tuesday | November 24, 2015 | 11:00 AM

JAMAICA'S CAPACITY to fight terrorism is being strengthened with the training of 40 local law-enforcement officers in various aspects of counterterrorism and how to cramp the source of the financing for such crimes.

A team of former officers from the United Kingdom National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit, which arrived in the island last week, is conducting the training exercise.

Robin Sykes, chief technical director at the Financial Investigations Division, said, "The training will focus closely on intelligence gathering and investigation techniques".

In addition, Sykes said, "the training will strengthen ongoing capacity building among key agencies, enhance information sharing and cooperation protocols between agencies, and suggest requisite legislative changes".

Officers from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch, Financial Investigation Division, Jamaica Customs Agency, Revenue Protection Division. and the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency are participating in the training. Other agencies involved in the exercise are the Bank of Jamaica, Financial Services Commission of Jamaica, Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies, the Ministry of National Security, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

HIGH PRIORITY

The Financial Investigation Division in the Ministry of Finance said intelligence gathering and investigation techniques continue to be a high priority and the Government would continue to implement initiatives aimed at strengthening the country's ability to protect its citizens from threats of terrorism.

The training was arranged with the assistance of the British High Commission, and is being funded by the Caribbean Criminal Asset Recovery Programme. The programme is administered by the UK Department for International Development.

There has also been input from the private sector in relation to the movement of money and how law enforcement and the financial-services industry can work together.