Issued by: Ministry of Finance & Planning
Christopher Moore, a thirty-seven (37) year old Computer Operator/IT Technician, was remanded in custody until July 21, 2014, after his appearance on June 30, in the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrate’s Court. Moore was arrested on June 20, 2014 as the Revenue Protection Division (RPD) supported by MOCA , conducted a pre- dawn operation at eight (8) locations across the Corporate Area and St. Catherine.
He was charged under Sections 3 (1) and 6 (1) of the Cybercrimes Act for Unauthorized access to computer program or data and Unauthorized interception of computer function or service.
The operation was a culmination of a year of intensive investigation by the RPD into tax evasion, tax fraud and breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) Act of 2013, the Cybercrimes Act 2010. Losses to the Revenue are estimated to be in excess of One Billion Jamaican Dollars.
Acting Commissioner General of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Ainsley Powell in his comment on the RPD/ MOCA operation states:
“Tax Administration Jamaica has cooperated fully with the RPD throughout this investigation and we will continue in our efforts to ensure that persons involved in these breaches are properly held accountable. No effort will be spared in recovering the revenues lost, and we wish to advise those involved that this will also include any additional interest and penalties which may have accrued.”
The Commissioner of the Revenue Protection Division, Major (Ret'd) Johanna Lewin comments that -
"This action represents the efforts to support the core functions and role of the Revenue Protection Division (RPD) – “Protecting the Revenue... Protecting the Future”. The intensive and complex investigation which has taken place over approximately one (1) year is indicative of the type of work that needs to continue to be done in order to stem the perpetration of unlawful acts. These unlawful acts represent a significant threat to the revenue and ultimately the health and strength of our nation. The joint efforts of several different arms of law enforcement bring to the table combined knowledge, expertise and manpower which is imperative in the fight against corruption which has the potential to sap the life blood of our country, hamper efficient and effective collection of the revenues due and hurt investor confidence in Jamaica.”
The Financial Secretary, Devon Rowe, has also expressed his resounding support on the specific action taken and for the work being conducted by the RPD. He has commended the RPD for its diligence in bringing the yearlong investigation to this point and emphasizes that this signals the Ministry of Finance’s zero tolerance approach to corruption and fraud.
“Any effort at deterring and plugging attempts to siphon off the revenue is stoutly supported by the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Any successful action which assists in bringing to justice those persons who by their deliberate and unlawful actions are a serious threat to the revenue is welcomed as the Government of Jamaica has no desire to increase the tax burden on law abiding and compliant citizens. Additionally, the joint operation between RPD and the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA) and other partner agencies is more than symbolic of joined- up government which is a critical prong to the Economic Reform Programme"
He stands fully behind the RPD in its continuing efforts to protect the revenue.
The RPD is committed to having a full and thorough investigation into this and any other identifiable revenue breaches and encourages members of the public to contact the RPD at 1-888- CALLRPD (225-5773) , email email@example.com or MOCA at 754-3435 if they are in possession of any information.
All information provided will be handled in the strictest confidence.
Re-established as a division of the Ministry of Finance in June 2008 as one of four entities under the Ministry’s Enforcement, Regulations and Compliance Programme, the RPD is specifically mandated to protect the Government’s Revenue through the enforcement of the Revenue and Customs laws, conducting investigations, minimizing corruption within the Revenue Services and improving the efficiency of revenue collection.