Thu | Oct 21, 2021

MOCA rejects claims Bunting gave directive for Daryl Vaz probe

Published:Tuesday | September 28, 2021 | 11:16 AM
In this 2015 JIS photo, then Minister of National Security Peter Bunting (left), converses with Colonel Desmond Edwards now head of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency.

The Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) has rejected claims that former National Security Minister Peter Bunting requested that current Energy Minister Daryl Vaz be investigated.

Director General of MOCA Colonel Desmond Edwards says since its establishment, no government minister or policymaker has ever given it any directive to investigate an individual.

According to Edwards, the agency has very robust and transparent internal processes that determine the matters it investigates.

“This is followed as a matter of course,” said Edwards in a statement a short while ago. “Those processes are guided by our core values of integrity, independence and professionalism.”

He was responding to claims by former United States Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia that Peter Bunting, while he served as Minister of National Security, requested that Vaz be investigated.

Tapia's comments came amid wide public discussion about the US visa re-issued to Vaz with a rare annotation which covers controlled substance traffickers under US immigration law.

READ:  Vaz gets back US visitor's visa with rare waiver

Edwards said MOCA has never received any directive from or had any discussion with Bunting relating to an investigation into Vaz.

Last night, Bunting also denied all accusations in relation to his role in the revocation of Vaz's visa.

READ: Bunting denies accusations in Vaz's visa controversy

Meanwhile, Edwards said MOCA is unaware of the motives behind the visa revocation.

READ: Tapia: The US wronged Vaz

“MOCA remains an independent investigative body that is free from any form of external influence. We guard this reputation jealously and continue to work for the people of Jamaica in stamping out corruption and organised crime,” said Edwards.

See MOCA's full statement below:

Since the establishment of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), no government minister nor policy maker has ever given the agency any directive to investigate an individual.

MOCA has very robust and transparent internal processes that determine what matters it investigates, and this is followed as a matter of course. Those processes are guided by our core values of integrity, independence and professionalism. On the matter of the revocation of Mr. Vaz's United States visa, we have never received any directive from, nor had any discussion with Mr. Peter Bunting relating to an investigation into Mr. Vaz, and we are unaware of what motives were behind the revocation.

MOCA remains an independent investigative body that is free from any form of external influence. We guard this reputation jealously and continue to work for the people of Jamaica in stamping out corruption and organised crime.

-  Colonel Desmond Edwards
Director General

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