Fri | Nov 24, 2017

$18M seized under proceeds of crime

Published:Wednesday | October 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Roughly $18 million has been seized from persons who either failed to give proper account of how they came by excessive amounts of funds when accosted by the police, or from persons believed to be in possession of cash derived from criminal activities.

Some of the cases stemmed from as far back as 2011.

The courts officially ruled at different periods in 2017 that the funds would not be returned to the persons it was confiscated from.

Rogelio Smith, who was stopped on April 3 by members of the police narcotics division at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, was found to be in possession of US$22,486 after having his luggage searched. He had failed to declare the funds and was unable to give account of its origin.

Jasmine Spleen had her home searched and J$199,000 found. She could not offer a reasonable explanation as to where the money originated. It was seized under powers afforded by the Proceeds of Crime Act.

On Friday, August 19, 2011, Kamal Morrison was travelling in a car in Mandeville, which was stopped and searched by the police. In the process, J$850,000 was discovered. It was determined this year that the money was intended for future use in criminality.

Dajour Angling, who was in possession of $530,000 while travelling on a bus in Trelawny in 2015, had the funds taken away from him after the bus was stopped and searched by cops. Only $50,000 ended up being returned.

Cash totalling US$56,300 was seized form Shannickie Bowen, Deloris Swaby, Brenton Palmer and Rudolph Hardial at the Norman Manley International Airport on January 2013. That sum was confiscated after investigations.

Albert Stephens, principal director of investigations at the Financial Investigations Division at the Ministry of Finance, said that they are serious about taking the profit out of crime.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com