HomeNewsBriefJamaica Seizes Over $8M in Assets, Looks to Expand Money Laundering Law

Jamaica Seizes Over $8M in Assets, Looks to Expand Money Laundering Law


Jamaica has frozen more than $8 million in assets, some belonging to alleged drug traffickers, as the country rolls out legislation to target illicitly obtained funds and money laundering.

The seizures, a result of 14 orders obtained last year by the country's Financial Investigations Division (FID), came under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) that was enacted in 2007 and gives the state powers to seize property and finances obtained through drug trafficking and/or money laundering. Three of the 14 cases alone accounted for close to $6 million, according to the Jamaican newspaper Gleaner.

Assets seized included vehicles, real estate, bank accounts and jewellery. Among those targeted were white-collar workers, alleged drug traffickers living overseas, and people involved in a lottery scam.

The head of FID, Albert Stephens, told the Gleaner that in addition to these assets, the agency seized more than $1.5 million in cash in 2011.

InSight Crime Analysis

The announcement of these successes came soon after Jamaica's national security minister, Peter Bunting, stated that legislation is being advanced to expand the act's remit to give agencies the ability to seize assets of those complicit in illicit activity and who actively facilitate it.

The Jamaican Observer comments that this expansion is "long overdue," pointing to the fact that high-level criminals have been increasingly turning to professionals well versed in this area of the law to hide their illicit assets from law enforcement agencies.

Jamaica was listed as a country of "concern" on the US State Department's most recent annual report on money laundering and financial crimes. The island's banks are used by transnational criminal organizations, particularly Colombian, to channel illicit funds due to their comparatively weak regulation, according to the CIA's World Factbook.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


Related Content


Cryptocurrencies were created to be the cutting edge of finance, allowing users to hold and exchange money independent of government…


Kidnappings have skyrocketed in Haiti, but the crisis has political as well as criminal roots.


Kidnappings in Haiti have increased during the first three months of 2022, continuing a grim surge that began last year…

About InSight Crime


Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.


InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.


Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …


InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…


Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…