Jamaica government probing illegal sale of land

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that a comprehensive investigation will be undertaken to crack down on the illegal sale of lands across the island, as he also disclosed that some of the people involved in these scam deals are known and politically connected.

He said that the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have been tasked to investigate these scams and bring to book, all those persons involved.

“Regardless of their political connection on both sides, we have asked MOCA and JCF to do a comprehensive investigation on this matter,” Holness said in the House of Representatives.

“We must clearly establish that no criminal organisation, no scammer, no don, no politician can tell anyone to go and occupy land that they do not legally own, whether it is private land or government land. Right across Jamaica, we have been receiving reports of land scams.”

Prime Minister Holness urged anyone who has been duped, or who knows of any possible arrangements for illegal transfer of Government lands, to contact MOCA, the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigations Branch (CTOC), Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (with responsibility for housing) or the National Land Agency (NLA). Reports can also be made through MOCA’s online platform at www.moca.gov.jm.

“Government has drawn the line in this matter of the illegal selling of Government lands. We will bring an end to this large-scale land scam. This is tantamount to obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, whereby criminal enterprises purport to give permission to build on public and indeed, private lands,” Holness said.

“This is a dangerous happening and as a country, we must be united and take a stand against this pervasive criminal activity and stop it from taking root.” (CMC)

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