Several of the island’s criminals wanted in connection with various crimes are outsmarting law enforcement personnel by utilising a Central American route to flee the country.
In fact, there is an emerging trend being classified as human smuggling, which sees Jamaicans using Central America, via the Mexican border, to enter the United States illegally.
The disclosures were made by two senior law enforcers at a press conference on Tuesday, during which the police provided an update on crime in the country.
According to Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, several criminals on the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF’s) radar are evading arrest by travelling to Central America.
It has long been established that local criminals have been involved in drug and gun trafficking with co-conspirators in several Central American countries, including Nicaragua.
“We have seen the movement of criminals who we are after, or who we have named or identified, out of the country, and they use the Central American route to get out of here. We have seen that,” Anderson said on Tuesday.
The commissioner also highlighted the practice of people shipping weapons into the island via the US route. He said efforts are continuing to identify individuals engaged in that illicit practice.
“… Persons who are abroad are making arrangements — not just by small boats — to get shipments in from the US, and in this regard, we are working, obviously, with our overseas partners in identifying where they are, and what sort of offences they are doing over there so that we can have a joint investigation,” he indicated.
Meanwhile, the Head of the force’s crime portfolio, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Fitz Bailey said, based on information gleaned from intelligence, there has not been any deepening of relationships between criminals engaged in drug shipment between Jamaica and Colombia.
“I am aware that Jamaicans are actually going to other countries and committing transnational organised crime, for example, when we look at the weapon trafficking, we know Jamaicans go to Haiti [and] Nicaragua in their weapon-trafficking efforts, but I’ve not seen any increase between Colombia and Jamaica,” he explained.
Besides the gun and drug trade with Central America, the police are now also aware of human smuggling involving Jamaicans fleeing to Mexico to cross the border between that country and the US.
“We are aware that there are instances where Jamaicans, in an attempt to reach the United States, they travel to Mexico. We are aware of that trade… It’s human smuggling,” said DCP Bailey.
In recent times, social media has been abuzz as influencers and other Jamaicans share their stories of linking with Mexican collaborators to get into the US through the human-smuggling ploy.
Last month, local media reported that the Mexican Government has tightened its immigration processes in allowing Jamaicans to arrive in the country because of the growing number of people using the country to access the US-Mexico border.