A Jamaican man who was convicted of drug charges in the United States has lost his bid to retain J$500 million in assets that have been ordered forfeited by the crown.
The convict, Andrew Hamilton, was dealt a blow in his legal challenge by the Court of Appeal on Friday, with a ruling that his application to appeal a Supreme Court order for the forfeiture of his assets has been refused.
Further, the Appeal Court said his application for a stay of execution of the order has also been refused.
Hamilton, a former policeman locally, had jointly filed the applications with two other persons.
It was reported that he was convicted of narcotics charges in 2014, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Shortly after his conviction, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had made a request to Jamaican law enforcement authorities for a probe into Hamilton’s assets and wealth.
This led to a probe by the Financial Investigations Division (FID), which later discovered the staggering wealth and asset base of the drug convict, which included several lavish houses and apartments in upper St Andrew, along with motor vehicles and a fishing vessel.
In reacting to the latest development in the case, the FID’s Principal Director of Investigations, Keith Darien, said the agency and “its law enforcement partners are quite pleased with the ruling of the Court of Appeal.
“We have a lot of confidence in the justice system and we will contest any challenge (that is) mounted by a defendant who we believe obtained property from unlawful conduct,” said Darien in a statement.