Stay clear of Jamaican waters - ACP Thompson warns
"Stay clear of Jamaican waters because we have the equipment, we have the capability to stop you," is the warning from Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Assan Thompson to poachers who would be minded to plunder the country's marine resources.
Buoyed by yesterday's landmark $11-million fine for the 59 fishermen from the Dominican Republic who pleaded guilty to various breaches, the head of the border security branch said the enforcement arm of the marine police has been strengthened in recent times, and so it will not be business as usual for criminals who ply their trade in Jamaican waters.
"We are looking out for some other persons out there, especially those involved in the transporting of illegal firearms. We hope that with the equipment we have acquired now and the improved capability, we will continue to maintain the territorial integrity of the Jamaican border," he told The Gleaner.
WARNING TO J'CAN FISHERMEN
"So, again, this is a warning for persons who might want to come into our waters - stay clear of the Jamaican waters, we have the equipment, we have the capability to stop you."
Thompson also had a warning for Jamaican fishers who run afoul of the law in other jurisdictions, advising that they could face repercussions for the recent hefty fines imposed on foreign poachers by the Jamaican authorities.
He stated, "We want to use this opportunity also to warn our Jamaican fishermen that based on what has happened here today and the significance of this fine, other countries might feel obliged to impose similar fines.
"So we want to warn them to stay in Jamaican waters and not to proceed into waters belonging to other states. What happened to the Dominican Republic fishermen here could happen to them, so they should take warning based on what happened here today."