Organized Crime

Organized Crime

Moca is dedicated to eliminating organized crime groups that pose a significant threat to the economic security of Jamaica. The Agency draw on experience and expertise of well trained, and proficient Members with a high standard of professionalism and integrity; with the use of sustained and coordinated intelligence and techniques in criminal investigative and our partnerships with other intelligence and law enforcement organization MOCA have achieved regional and international presence;


Organized crime is a group of individuals, either local, national or international, that engage in criminal enterprises for profit. The rationale behind why they are formed varies because they may be politically motivated, financially motivated or an organized criminal gangs.

The two main ways in which networks are formed within organized crime.

The first is within a family, this form of organized crime operates based on the hierarchies of the related families, training of family members, where there is a reliance on tradition and culture.

The second is through a ‘gang.’ These members are often recruited through members’ involvement in crime as youths and the connections made in the correctional facilities. Members often join a gang for protection or the need to belong, typically due to their lack of a support system in their homes. Some gangs have a loose hierarchy, especially when dealing with drugs, firearms or sex trafficking.

Transnational organized crime (TOC) groups are self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate, wholly or in part, by illegal means and irrespective of geography. They constantly seek to obtain power, influence, and monetary gains. There is no single structure under which TOC groups function—they vary from hierarchies to clans, networks, and cells, and may evolve into other structures. These groups are typically insular and protect their activities through corruption, violence, international commerce, complex communication mechanisms, and an organizational structure exploiting national boundaries.

TOC groups’ primary goal is economic gain and engages in a multiplicity of schemes to generate profit. Crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, firearms trafficking, illegal gambling, extortion, counterfeit goods, drugs for guns’ trade, lottery scam, and cyber-crime are the main operation of TOC enterprises. The vast sums of money involved can compromise legitimate economies and have a direct impact on governments through the corruption of public officials.

These Crimes poses a significant and growing threat to national and international security with direct implications for public safety, public health, and economic stability. Organized crime jeopardizes the security of our borders, and endangers our health through the importation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and food. They seek to corrupt officials and penetrate public and private entities that are vital to national security and stability of our economy.

Criminal Enterprise

Criminal organization means a group, however, organized, that is composed of three or more persons in or outside of Jamaica; it can be of transnational, national, or local groupings whose main purpose or main activities to facilitate or engage in illegal activity that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, whether financial benefit or otherwise, by the group or by any of the persons who constitute the group.

The Suppression of Criminal Organizations Act, 2014. Define a criminal organization as “any gang, group, alliance, network, combination or other arrangement among three or more persons (whether formally or informally affiliated or organized or whether or not operating through one or more bodies corporate or other associations) ­

(a) that has as one of its purposes the commission of one or more serious offences; or

(b) in relation to which the persons who are a part thereof or participate therein (individually, jointly or collectively) issue threats or engage in violent conduct to-

(i) Create fear, intimidate, exert power or gain influence in communities, or over other persons, in furtherance of unlawful activity; or

(ii) obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefits

These organizations often engage in multiple criminal activities and have extensive supporting networks and influences. The terms Organized Crime and Criminal Enterprise are similar and often used synonymously. However, The Suppression of Criminal Organizations Act, 2014 and other legislation specifically define the elements of a Criminal enterprise and Organized Crime group that need to be proven in order to convict individuals or groups of individuals under those legislations.