New MOCA Law Gives Investigators Powers Of Arrest
Investigators who will be assigned to the proposed new Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) will be invested with the powers of arrest as they tackle serious crimes and seek to break the back of organised criminal networks in Jamaica.
Lawmakers in the Upper House yesterday gave the nod to the MOCA bill, with 77 amendments.
In March, the Senate suspended debate on the MOCA bill to allow lawmakers additional time to review the ruling of the Appeal Court, which handed down a judgement that the Independent Commission of Investigations did not have the power to arrest or prosecute the police.
The legislators in the Upper House sought more time to determine whether the court ruling had any implications for the MOCA bill.
The Seventh Schedule of the bill states that “an officer of the agency may arrest without a warrant any person found committing or whom he has reasonable cause to suspect is about to commit a serious crime”.
At the same time, an officer of MOCA may arrest, with a warrant obtained from a judge of a parish court, any person to about whom he has reasonable cause to suspect has committed a serious crime.
The bill will be sent to the House of Representatives, where lawmakers in that chamber are expected to review and approve the amendments.