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8 arrested in western Jamaica in pre-dawn MOCA/US raids

Published:Thursday | September 26, 2013 | 9:37 AM

Eight persons were taken into custody yesterday morning, including a attorney-at-law following simultaneous raids in western Jamaica.



A firearm and lottery scamming paraphernalia were seized. It is reported that two of the individuals arrested in St James will also be charged for illegal possession of marijuana.



The raids took place in Hopewell, Hanover; Norwood, Irwin and Lilliput in St James and Duncans, Trelawny.



The operation, which started approximately 5:00 a.m. and involved personnel from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA), the Financial Investigations Division of the Ministry of Finance (FID), Area 1 Operational Support Team, the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (ACB), the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), United States operatives from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the United States Postal Inspection Service (UPIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Western Union Remittance Agency.



It is also reported that the operation in Trelawny led the team to a location in Runaway Bay. The result of that operation has not yet been ascertained.



The persons arrested will be interviewed in the presence of their lawyers, following which, MOCA states formal charges will be laid.



According to MOCA the early morning operation is the second phase in the collaboration between the United States and Jamaica to stem and curtail the benefits of the ongoing lottery scam.



It is reported the first phase, which started in May, in Fort Lauderdale Florida saw the seizure of more than US$300,000 and again saw the collaboration between MOCA and several US Agencies.



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