Jamaican authorities are targeting over $300 million dollars worth of alleged narco-properties in the western part of the island, reportedly linked to a resurgent cocaine trade.
The Jamaican Financial Investigations Division (FID) is targeting high-end properties they believe were acquired through an international drug trafficking and money laundering network that connects Central and North America with the Caribbean, reported the Gleaner.
The investigation began in the United States with the arrest of two Jamaican brothers caught attempting to smuggle in six kilos of cocaine.
Authorities believe the assets are linked to operations capitalizing on a resurgent cocaine trade in Jamaica, especially along the western coast.
InSight Crime Analysis
As well as being the largest marijuana supplier country in the Caribbean, Jamaica is also a transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to North America or Europe.
While only an estimated five percent of cocaine destined for the United States passes through the Caribbean region, there have been increased fears that trafficking is again on the rise due to a clampdown on popular routes in Central America.
Additionally, the CIA has identified “substantial” money laundering activity in Jamaica, and have described the island as a favored spot for Colombian drug traffickers to carry out illegal financial transactions.
There has been a dramatic increase in asset seizures in Jamaica since 2007, when the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) was enacted, giving the state powers to seize property and finances obtained through drug trafficking and/or money laundering.