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The CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana. (File photo)

Jamaican government to sign CARICOM agreement on recovered assets sharing

The CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana. (File photo)

The Government is moving to sign the CARICOM Agreement on the Sharing of Recovered Assets, which is intended to strengthen regional cooperation in this area by establishing a framework for the return or sharing of illicitly acquired proceeds that have been confiscated.

More than 25 member countries of CARICOM attended the conference. (Photo: CARICOM.org)

Chief Technical Director (CTD) in the Ministry of National Security, Rohan Richards, said the agreement will also facilitate the provision of assistance to victims of money laundering and increased financing for regional security institutions.

Jamaica’s signing of the regional agreement is expected to complement legislation Richards posited the ministry is pursuing to implement an asset recovery incentivisation scheme.

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Rohan Richards (Photo: Garwin Davis, JIS)

Richards, who was among several guest speakers during the recent Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of the Caribbean (ARIN-CARIB) Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in St James.

Richards further argued this is expected to go a far way in enabling agencies, such as the Financial Investigations Division (FID), “to successfully pursue more criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act”.

” The introduction of these provisions will signal to criminals and facilitators of criminal activity that the Government of Jamaica is serious about taking away illicitly acquired wealth .”

“This scheme will allow those agencies that work to combat money laundering to be able to utilise a portion of the funds recovered in order to improve their capacity and operational effectiveness,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the CTD said the Ministry of National Security will be seeking to introduce legislation to address illegally acquired finances and assets.

The Ministry of National Security in Kingston. (Photo: Ministry of National Security)

This, he indicated, will target persons in possession of assets deemed disproportionate to their financial standing, who are unable to reasonably explain the source of such gains.

“The introduction of these provisions will signal to criminals and facilitators of criminal activity that the Government of Jamaica is serious about taking away illicitly acquired wealth,” Richards pointed out.

Additionally, these measures are expected to be a “significant deterrent to criminal activity, as there is a greater risk of losing the wealth criminals would have gained through illicit enrichment”.

Representatives from more than 25 member countries attended the two-day ARIN- CARIB conference, which featured presentations on several topics.