Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Border Protection Unit making life hard for criminals

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The Border Protection Unit at the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has reported success for the first quarter of the 2016-17 financial year.

"We had, over the quarter, nine Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) forfeiture applications made before the courts and we are attempting to get the courts to forfeit almost US$190,000 that was taken from persons who were attempting to bring the money in through our airports," said Director of Cargo Imaging Kingsley Henry.

Speaking at a press conference at the JCA headquarters recently, Henry said the agency has been working closely with immigration officials to prevent money from entering the country illegally.

He also reported the seizure of three magnetic card readers and writers with encoders as well as 20 blank swipe cards.

"These cards can be used to skim your debit or credit card details and clone your cards to deplete funds from your account or run up your credit balance," Henry explained.




He noted that in collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Defence Force and the United States Coast Guard, some 600 kilogrammes of cocaine were seized, with a value of US$15 million.

He also cited detection of the misuse of the 33.20 free code for sporting goods, which has resulted in $1.9 million in additional duties.

"If an entity is importing sporting goods related to the sport listed in the schedule of the Customs Act, they can apply this free code so that some of the duties will be exempt," Henry said.

"What we are seeing is that there are some entities that are just involved in importing certain sporting goods, particularly sneakers, and they are tempted to use this free code, but their intent is not to use it for the particular sport, but to sell it in regular commercial outlets," he added.

Henry also said that the nation's post offices are being used as a transit point to send cocaine and small quantities of marijuana.

He informed that for the quarter, there were 127 narcotic seizures, 102 marijuana seizures, six marijuana seedling seizures, nine hashish seizures, and 10 cocaine seizures.