Attorney among persons detained in money-laundering probe

Published: Wednesday | December 18, 2013 Comments 0
Police personnel attached to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force remove evidence from an attorney is office on Duke Street, downtown Kingston, yesterday. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer
Police personnel attached to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force remove evidence from an attorney is office on Duke Street, downtown Kingston, yesterday. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer

A Kingston attorney was among six persons taken into custody yesterday after Jamaican law-enforcement personnel probing a massive money-laundering scheme with international connections carried out a series of coordinated raids in three parishes.

The predawn raids, led by detectives from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption (MOCA) Task Force and the Financial Investigations Division (FID), with support from other police, were conducted simultaneously at the attorney's Duke Street offices in downtown Kingston and premises in eastern Kingston, upper St Andrew, Portmore, St Catherine, and Manchester.

Officials from MOCA and the FID declined, last night, to discuss the operations which were still ongoing, but law-enforcement sources say they are linked to a Jamaican man who has pleaded guilty to drug, money-laundering and gunrunning charges in the United States.

"I cannot confirm that, not at this stage," head of the FID, Justin Felice, told The Gleaner.

"Today's [Tuesday's] operations signify the culmination of an intense joint investigation by MOCA and FID in relation to money laundering and other financial crimes," the agencies said in a joint statement issued shortly after midday.

"MOCA and FID wish to remind citizens that, together, we will take the profit out of crime," the statement noted.

According to the statement, five persons had been detained, but their identities were being withheld pending further investigations.

The identity of the attorney, who was led out of her office in the custody of police personnel shortly before 4 o'clock, is also being withheld.

After hours inside the attorney's offices, detectives from MOCA were seen removing reams of documents that had been placed in boxes with the words "Operation Hands Off" written on them.

Felice promised the FID would issue a "pre-prepared" statement at the end of the operations.

 

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