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About Us

 

The Financial Investigations Division is a Division within the Ministry of Finance and Planning which was established 16th December, 2002. The Division has evolved with time and the objectives now focus on the need to deter the use of Jamaica’s economy for money laundering and other financial crimes thereby contributing to a stable financial sector and an investor friendly environment. Part of the mandate of the FID is to also increase public awareness of financial crimes and the impact and importance of their elimination from the society.
With the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), 2007, has come the increased responsibilities of the Division to grant “consent to perform a prohibited act”, to financial institutions – a new concept. Under this legislation, the increase in investigative powers inter alia and the operation of the Asset Recovery Agency which is charged with the responsibility of seizing assets and removing the profit out of crime.

Vision Statement

To be an effective financial intelligence and investigation organization that delivers quality products and services and contributes to financial and national security.

Mission Statement

To contribute to the national security of Jamaica by providing quality financial investigations that support Government of Jamaica strategic priorities.

Values

Ethics and Integrity – We will embrace ethics and integrity with honesty and fairness through the actions and decisions of ourselves, our colleagues, our clients and serviced groups nationally and regionally.

Professionalism – We will apply the right balance of management and leadership to encourage and influence an innovative and committed workplace supported through training and development in maintaining a skilled and flexible workforce.

Accountability – We will be accountable and accept our responsibilities that extend to tasks, personnel and strategic outcomes that will promote understanding, team synergy and commitment to business and unit performance.

Transparency – We will be open with ourselves, clients and the community in our activities with the exception where there is an organisational or operational risk.

Independent – We will carry out our responsibilities without bias and interference in accordance with our legislative obligations, policies and procedures to ensure that our organisational and operational activities are undertaken credibly, without bias and unnecessary intervention.

Empathy – We will respect human rights, based on human dignity; respect for individual needs and differences; respect in our communications to individuals, colleagues and groups in the community.

Collaboration – We encourage the creation and fostering of effective working partnerships within the Division, Financial Institutions, private sector, government and regional law enforcement agencies through leadership.

Objectives

The main objectives of the Division are to:

  1. Investigate allegations of money laundering, financial crime and corruption in liaison with other national regional law enforcement agencies.
  2. Detect, deter and aid the prosecution of offences committed under the various acts dealing with financial crimes, by causing a reduction of the actual and expected profits that would evolve from such corrupt activities.
  3. Collaborate with international bodies in responding to transnational crimes under the Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) Act.

International Identification
The title ‘Financial Investigations Division’ is the nomenclature used in Jamaica as it is a Division of the Ministry of Finance. However, similar entities regionally and internationally are known as a Financial Intelligence Unit FIU) and in some cases an Asset Recovery Agency (ARA). In legislative terms, the FID is referred to as the ARA.

 

Definition of a Financial Intelligence Unit
The Egmont Group has defined a FIU as “A central, national agency responsible for receiving, analyzing and disseminating to the competent authorities, disclosures of financial information concerning suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism…in order to counter money laundering and terrorism financing.”

Structure

The FID consists of an Executive Office and five Units, each of which is headed by a Director:

  1. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) – Read More
  2. Information Technology Unit (ITU) – Read More
  3. Financial Investigations Team (FIT) – Read More
  4. Planning and Administrative Services Unit (P&ASU) – Read More
  5. Legal Services Unit (LSU) – Read More

FID-Structure

Executive Office (EO)

Under the leadership of the Chief Technical Director (CTD), the Executive Office is responsible for the overall day to day management of the Division. The office has both Technical and Administrative functions that entail:

Strategic Policy Direction

As part of the Financial Sector Regulation Programme in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Division’s portfolio contributes to creating a society in which each citizen has every prospect of a better quality of life.

 

Reporting (Internal and External)

All periodic reports on the Division’s operations and activities are documented, analysed and disseminated to the relevant partners and authorities.

Local Cooperation

The FID Act allows the FID to share information with other designated agencies to fulfil its mandate of investigating financial crimes. To augment this information sharing ability and processes the
FID has entered into MOUs with the following government agencies:

  • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)
  • The Jamaica Customs Department (JCD)
  • The Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) – PENDING

International Cooperation

International cooperation is critical if countries are to succeed against the twin scourges of money laundering and terrorist financing. International cooperation to tackle transnational crime includes: sharing of information as per the prescribed legislation of each jurisdiction, tracing and restraining assets, and transfer of technical skills and expertise. Jamaica has demonstrated that it remains an active participant in the international arena by engaging and cooperating with other jurisdictions and by its membership in international bodies committed to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing in Terrorism (CFT) measures including:

  • Membership in Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)
  • Involvement in CFATF Working Groups( training and typologies)
  • Application for membership in the Egmont Group of FIUs

Jamaica has also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Colombia to facilitate the sharing of information with that jurisdiction.

Communications and Public Relations

The FID is an integral part of the AML/CFT Regime and makes representation at various fora locally, regionally and internationally such as CFATF. With such a vast responsibility, all public relations and communications for the Division originate from the Executive Office, including liaison with print and electronic media. Depending on the nature of the communication and as a Division of the Ministry of Finance, the Executive Office also liaises with the Public Relations Section at the Ministry of Finance as and when necessary.

Significant Case Management

Major cases are dealt with in a collaborative manner by a cross-functional team of internal persons to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out investigations and prosecutions. This team comprises forensic examiners, financial analysts, attorneys, IT specialists and investigators.

Legal Policy and Strategy

The FID mainly operates under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA), Financial Investigation Division Act (FIDA),Corruption Prevention Act (CPA) legislation which guides the Division in carrying out its mandate and operational activities.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)

The Intelligence Unit is headed by a Director supported by an Administrative Assistant and comprises two sections:

– Analysts section [Financial Analysts (2) and Data Analysts (1)]
– Profiling section [Profile Officers (3) and Intelligence officer (1)]

The main outputs of the Profile and Intelligence Officers are:

  • Financial Profiles on persons suspected to have committed financial crimes (at the request of police units – mainly, CFU, OCID, Transnational Crime and Fraud Squad)
  • Due Diligence Reports on the request of government agencies
  • Fit and Proper Checks on Directors, Shareholders and Senior Management personnel in the financial sector at the request of Bank of Jamaica
  • Collecting, processing and analysing data from the Reports of International Transportation of Currency or Bearer Negotiable Instruments

The Analysts section carries out the core functionsof a Financial Intelligence Unit by undertaking various tasks including:

  • Receiving reports from financial institutions submitted under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and the Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA)
  • Processing the data from the threshold and suspicious transaction reports
  • Reviewing the reports received to ensure that they have been prepared accurately with the requisite information
  • Analysis of the data and dissemination of detailed reports (Disclosures) to the Constabulary Financial Unit (CFU).
  • Maintaining the statistics for the Unit with respect to number of reports received, the number received from each type of financial institution, the number of disclosures, the compliance rate of financial institutions and other information received by the FIU.
  • Managing the consent process, reviewingrequests to ensure conformity with the legal requirements, responding to those requests that can be dealt with by the FIU and forwarding others to the Investigators for further action.
  • Providing feedback continuously to financial institutions especially with respect to the quantitative aspects of their submissions.
  • Requesting additional information from financial institutions periodically to analyze the transactions more comprehensively to ensure that better quality reports are submitted to the financial investigators.
  • Accommodating requests for financial information for active investigations from the various police units including CFU and also from FCIU.

 

Information Technology Unit (ITU)

The Information Technology Unit (ITU) has the responsibility to support the Mission of the Financial Investigations Division (FID) which is to remove the profit out of crime in Jamaica. This mandate is achieved by facilitating and providing a modern, well equipped and professional Information and Communication Technology (ICT) environment. We facilitate the Division’s utilization of this technology to offer efficient, timely and relevant support to its clients locally and in overseas territories.

The purpose of the ITU is to provide information technology support for the operation of the division while providing assistance to the investigative units in the form of computer forensics and data mining.

Unit Objectives

As Information Technology Specialists, the Unit provides forensic computing, software development and systems administration as follows:

  1. Implement and manage information systems solutions within the organization to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and easy access to the information required.
  2. Establish a secure information systems environment and manage the Information technology resources to ensure efficient utilization.
  3. Implement strategies which will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization Information systems
  4. Develop proficient computer forensic procedures in accordance with international standards and in support of the investigative process; Ensure that these procedures are in line with the local legal framework`

 

Financial Investigations Team (FIT)

The Financial Investigations Team (FIT) is the investigative/operational arm of the Financial Investigations Division. There are two (2) sub-units within FIT, namely the Financial Crime Investigations Unit (FCIU) of the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Constabulary Financial Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. FIT is staffed by a cadre of qualified and experienced Forensic Examiners and a team of highly trained and vetted Police Officers. Administrative and support staff are also assigned to the Team.
The overall strategic leadership and guidance of FIT is jointly shared by the Unit Directors, i.e., the Principal Director of the FCIU and the Director of the CFU. There are three (3) FIT Teams, each managed jointly by a Senior Forensic Examiner and a Detective Sergeant of Police. This collaborative approach is necessary in keeping with the legitimate authority bestowed on police officers to conduct criminal investigations and on the Forensic Examiners to conduct civil recovery of property investigations as well as to support the police as expert witness.

There are an additional twenty seven (27) Forensic Examiners and Police Officers in the teams. The Police Officers who are assigned to the FID have a direct chain of command to the Organized Crime Investigations Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Both Forensic Examiners and Police Officers are authorized financial investigators pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act. The Forensic Examiners are also authorized officers in keeping with the Financial Investigations Division Act.

The officers of FID undertake investigations in two (2) broad categories of financial crime matters, namely criminal and civil investigations. Its main function is to investigate offenders for money laundering and to recover tainted property, viz, instrumentality or proceeds (benefits) of crime. The four (4) specific types of investigations performed by FIT, utilizing specialized investigative tools under POCA and FIDA are:

  • Money laundering
  • Cash seizure
  • Civil recovery of property
  • Forfeiture or confiscation

In performing property recovery investigations, FIT quite often, secure restraint orders against such properties preventing its owner(s) from disposing of, dissipating, damaging, destroying or otherwise dealing with it. This strategy is effective in disrupting criminal activities, even prior to a suspect being charged or convicted for any crime. All civil recovery of property investigations are undertaken solely by FIT. In addition to FIT, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Jamaica Customs Department also have powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to undertake confiscation and cash seizure investigations respectively. The former is a conviction based recovery tool. In such matters, benefit hearings are held by the Supreme Court subsequent to an accused person being convicted of any offence from which he/she obtains a benefit.

In fulfilling its strategic objectives, FIT works closely with major police entities that are involved in the investigation of serious and organized crimes. These entities include the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division (TCND), Organized Crime Investigations Division (OCID) and the Fraud Squad. To this end, the FID has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

In addition to undertaking investigations initiated locally, FIT collaborates and cooperates with overseas law enforcement agencies in respect to transnational organized crime investigations. These types of investigations predominantly involve persons convicted for drug trafficking, lottery scamming or money laundering activities in overseas jurisdictions and who have transferred large amounts of money to family members or associates in Jamaica or own assets of substantial value in the country which are suspected to be the proceeds of criminality.

Planning and Administrative Services Unit (P&ASU)

The Planning and Administrative Services Unit is vested with the mandate in the Financial Investigations Division with the chief responsibilities of providing strategic support for the areas of Finance and Accounting, Human Resource Management and
Development and Facilities Management.

Unit Objectives

The objectives of this Unit are to:

  • Provide guidance, direction Planning & Administrative Services for:
    • Human Resource Management & Development in accordance with the Ministry of Finance & Planning’s policies, procedures and guidelines
  • Prepare the Division’s Corporate, Operational and Strategic Plans
  • Assist with budget preparation and control for both Annual & Supplementary Budgets
  • Procure Goods and Services, Warehouse Management and Courier Services

 

Legal Services Unit (LSU)

Purpose

To provide the highest quality legal advice to the Chief Technical Director and the Financial Investigations Division by utilizing best practices in advising on the gathering and collating of evidence in investigation, adjudication or for sanctions under the relevant laws; to adequately prepare and submit cases and opinion to stakeholders, ministries and other agencies interfacing with the Division so as to ameliorate convictions, forfeiture of assets, and compliance.

Unit Role and Functions

Specifically, the Legal Unit, which is staffed by qualified experienced lawyers, paralegal officers and lead by the Director, provides the following:

  1. Legal direction and advice on the merits of cases for trial under relevant laws impacting the FID, such as the Proceeds of Crime Act, Terrorism Prevention Act, Financial Investigations Division Act and the Corruption Prevention Act.
  2. Legal advice on best practices in gathering and ultimately, collating evidence on matters referred to the Division for investigation, to be adjudicated on. Sanctions are imposed predominantly under the FID Act, POCA and other laws relevant to the functions of the Division.
  3. The unit represents the Division in the submission of cases and opinions to stakeholders, Ministries and agencies engaged in the drive to realise a reduction in benefit from crime.
  4. The Legal Officers attend and represent the Division on matters touching and concerning financial crimes (criminal and civil) that are adjudicated in the Resident Magistrate Court, Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal as warranted.
  5. Make recommendations for structural or Legislative changes as well as recommendations to eliminate weaknesses and shortcomings impacting cases referred to the Legal Services Unit and the Division as a whole.
  6. Direct, research and make recommendations for required amendments to relevant legislations inclusive of regulations governing financial crimes.
  7. Provide sound advice on legal issues impacting the Division.
  8. Make recommendations for effective working tools, as well as to incorporate procedural changes to reflect the additional responsibilities and new thrust of the Legal Services Unit and the Division as a whole.