On August 4, 2021, the Major Organised Crime & Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) celebrates its seventh anniversary as an investigative body, the second major milestone accomplishment this year, following its designation as an independent agency earlier on April 1.
According to MOCA’s Director General Colonel Desmond Edwards, “the Agency was created on August 4th, 2014 to provide a direct response to issues of major organised crime and corruption in Jamaica. But over the seven years since, the organisation has seen its roles and responsibilities expanded as Jamaica’s national security threats have evolved.”
“MOCA today”, Colonel Edwards explained, “is heavily involved in addressing burgeoning issues such as cyber-crime, transnational organised crime and financial crimes, while paying close attention to emerging criminal enterprises looming on the horizon. I am proud of what our officers and staff members have accomplished so far and I have strong confidence in their ability to maintain that level of professionalism and excellence as we enter this new era of independence.” Colonel Edwards was also full of praise for MOCA’s partners who he says were vital to the agency’s success over the years. “We have a very close and supportive working relationship with our domestic and international partners such as the JCF, JDF, FID, PICA and Integrity Commission, among others. This facilitates greater information sharing and collaboration which ultimately strengthens our ability to mount highly effective investigations, operations and prosecutions.”
MOCA, which was created out of the merger of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force and the Anti-Corruption Branch of the JCF, has been involved in the investigation of a number of significant cases over the seven years of its existence, a number of which have generated significant public interest and debate. All told, MOCA has conducted over 647 investigations, charged over 800 persons and, in conjunction with the FID, seized, restrained and forfeited cash and property in the value of approximately $1.7 billion since its inception.
With the achievement of full independence which brings greater autonomy, budgetary and staffing control, the agency, together with its strategic partners, expects to do even greater work in the coming years, as it continues to target major organised criminal networks and public sector corruption in Jamaica.