Increased cooperation on criminal matters between Jamaica and the Kingdom of Belgium is to be strengthened. This follows approval of the Mutual Assistance (Criminal Matters) (Foreign States) (Kingdom of Belgium) Order, 2018 Resolution by members of the Jamaican Senate during its recent sitting.
Leader of Government Business Kamina Johnson Smith, said mutual assistance can also be used to identify and recover the proceeds of crime, and is particularly important in preventing criminals from evading prosecution because evidence or proceeds are in different countries.
Johnson Smith, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said the Order refers to two conventions to which both Jamaica and Belgium are parties – the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) 2005 and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 2000.
“The UNCAC requires parties to the treaty to implement measures that focus on areas such as prevention, law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, technical assistance and information exchange. The Order before us today would implement chapter four of the UNCAC international cooperation.”
Acting against transnational organized crimes
She said as a party to the Palerma Convention and the Palerma Protocols, Jamaica has committed to taking a series of measures in relation to transnational organized crime, including the adoption and revision of frameworks relating to extradition, mutual legal assistance and law-enforcement cooperation.
Satisfying international obligations
“By affirming the Order by resolution, we are not only safeguarding our relationship with Belgium, but we are also ensuring that our international obligations are satisfied,” she said.
Meanwhile, leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Donna Scott-Mottley, said the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), fully supports the Resolution.
“We expect that our country will accede to these international requests, especially because the focus is on transnational crime and unearthing any kind of corruption which cuts across all borders,” she said.