Kingston, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Monday announced a J$50 million fund to pay people who provide information about criminal activities.
He said the security forces have been getting that criminal gangs have been organising to take advantage of the large amount of cash and goods circulating during the Christmas season.
Holness said while law enforcement officials were working to arrest this type of activity, the public’s assistance would be useful and rewards would be made available.
“Our intelligence is picking it up and we are moving in on them; slowly, but surely, we are getting them. But we think that the process could be assisted greatly if the people in the country would share intelligence with the police… and sometimes there needs to be a little reward — and we’ve been doing that with guns,” he noted during the handing-over ceremony of two houses under the New Social Housing Programme in Seville Heights, St Ann.
“Where we are now, having picked up this intelligence — and we are seeking to act pre-emptively to save lives — we are putting up a fund of $50 million and, depending on the quality of information you give, you could get a nice Christmas reward. We want to get people who are involved in contract killings, people who are planning to hijack stocks and goods in-transit and people who are planning to rob supermarkets during the Christmas season and other business establishments,” he said.
“We want to know, and you could get a very nice reward, and of course all well secretly done. Yuh get yuh money but the criminals get their just rewards.”
Holness also put gunmen on notice that they can expect harsh punishments if convicted under the new Firearms Act.
“I am getting a report later today about how many persons we have found with illegal guns, but the report I am interested in is people going to jail to face the new penalties under the new Firearms Act,” he said.
“So all of those little boys running around with guns, who believe that they will go in front of the judge, plead a case and go through some bargaining process and they get six months and come out — rubbish!… You going get 15 years minimum,” the prime minister declared. (CMC)