Jamaica News: Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the budget is in place for the establishment of an independent Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) and focus will now be placed on ensuring that the entity is adequately staffed.
“At the moment, I think they are at less than half of the establishment, and we intend for that to be corrected quickly.
“It takes time to recruit the quality staff they require, and from what I have seen, they have some real assets – young, bright professionals. I expect the director will move very quickly [on this],” Dr. Chang said.
He was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 10), where members approved the Senate’s amendments to the MOCA Act.
The Bill seeks to establish MOCA as an autonomous body to fight organised crime in Jamaica, including detecting and investigating crime kingpins and persons who facilitate their activities.
The organisation will be transformed into an elite law-enforcement investigative agency, operating autonomously of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
MOCA will have a dedicated and specialised team of investigators that will probe and prosecute the complex cases that are characteristic of organised criminal networks.
Minister Chang said that the agency has demonstrated the capacity to investigate in a fair, independent and transparent manner.
First launched on June 4, 2012 and assuming full operations in September of that same year, MOCA focuses on taking the profit out of crime, targeting top-level crime figures and their facilitators in a bid to destroy their criminal networks and seize their assets.
In August 2014, MOCA was merged with the JCF’s Anti-Corruption Branch, thereby creating a greater reach and an increased capacity to undertake investigations into persons of interest, including the police and persons occupying public office.
To date, MOCA, with multi-agency support, has conducted 921 operations, 3,467 polygraph examinations, caused over 1,060 arrests, charged 691 persons, secured 151 convictions and seized more than $1.89 billion in assets.
The Senate, on June 8, approved the MOCA Bill, with 77 amendments.
Source: JIS News