Tavares-Finson blasts FID for ‘incompetence’ re charging of AIML Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Attorney Tom Tavares-Finson has lambasted the Financial Investigations Division (FID) for what he described as its “incompetence” in laying criminal charges against Alliance Investment Management Limited (AIML), which were all dismissed in court on Thursday.

The FID, in 2021, had laid 17 charges relative to breaching the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) against AIML.

The charges resulted in AIML’s former principals, brothers Robert and Peter Chin, being charged and presented in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

AIML was charged with ‘failure to file threshold transaction reports’ in breach of Section 3 (1) of the POCA Act.

The company was accused of failing to file cash transactions of, or exceeding, US$15,000 or its equivalent in any other currency with the designated authority, which is the chief technical director of the FID.

However, on Thursday, Chief Parish Court Judge Chester Crooks upheld a no-case submission from Tavares-Finson and attorney Sean-Christopher Castle on behalf of the Chin brothers and AIML.

Consequently, the 17 charges were dismissed, resulting in the brothers being freed.

But Tavares-Finson was not in a celebratory mood.

“The Alliance group has, essentially, had to close their organisations and sell them,” said Tavares-Finson.

“So, these charges have destroyed the Alliance group and destroyed the careers of two of Jamaica’s leading financiers, Peter Chin and Robert Chin,” declared Tavares-Finson at a press conference shortly after Thursday’s ruling by the court.

He said the allegations were that AIML “failed to file threshold transaction reports, some 17 of them which required the organisation to report transactions over US$15,000.”

He said the defence team had maintained from the very start of the matter that the threshold transaction reports were, in fact, filed.

“The FID indicated they were not filed because they couldn’t find them,” stated Tavares-Finson.

“In fact, we presented to the court evidence that these reports were, in fact, filed with the FID and it is the incompetence of the FID which led to the charges being laid against this company,” Tavares-Finson insisted.

In continuing his broadside against the FID, he said, “It is the incompetence of the FID which had caused the FID to sell, essentially to close down their business, and it is a very serious matter.”

The attorney also said the developments have “serious repercussions” for the financial sector.

The criminal charges and other developments in the case resulted in AIML’s securities portfolios being bought by Sagicor Jamaica Limited in August of 2022.