Mon | Aug 10, 2020

C-TOC swoops down on St James businessmen

Published:Friday | July 3, 2020 | 12:19 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer
Detectives of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Unit and members of the Jamaica Defence Force carry out an operation in St James on Wednesday morning.
Detectives of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Unit and members of the Jamaica Defence Force carry out an operation in St James on Wednesday morning.

The son of a former St James politician is among a number of business persons taken into custody, following a joint police-military operation carried out by members of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Unit (C-TOC) in Catherine Mount and other areas of St James Wednesday morning.

The lawmen went to premises in the upscale communities of Catherine Mount and Westgate Hills, where they took more than a dozen businessmen into custody, one of whom is said to be the son of a former politician.

During a search of his home, members of the search party removed a handgun, believed to be a licensed 9mm firearm, and a high-end vehicle from the premises.

A search of other properties in the area led to the arrest of other men and the seizure of dozens of cell phones, laptops, tablets, other electronic devices, and several alleged licensed firearms.

One law enforcer told The Gleaner that the operation was being carried out by investigators from the Narcotics Division, C-TOC, in collaboration with the USA Drug Enforcement Agency, and that it was aimed at exposing a number of alleged drug kingpins and lottery scammers, who are operating within the parish under the name of O5 Crew and Marvin Network.

Various upscale residences which are owned by a number of St James businessmen, who classed themselves as high rollers, were searched.

The investigator further stated that some of these men are suspected to be involved in various drug networks which operate out of St James, and most of the key players are known cocaine dealers and lottery scammers.

Wednesday’s operation follows the arrest of three St James police officers, who were taken into custody and charged for drug trafficking by the Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States of America last week.

The Constabulary Commun-ications Unit said last week that the Jamaican authorities have been working closely with the United States to clamp down on the illegal drug trade between the two countries.