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Jamaican PM offers $120million to informants

OFFER: Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) addressing the press at a conference (image credit: 'The Gleaner')

PRIME MINISTER Andrew Holness has announced a $100million fund to reward persons who supply information that lead to the recovery of illegal weapons and ammunition.

Speaking following a tour of the first Zone of Special Operation in Mount Salem, St. James, the prime minister said the fund will be administered by the Ministry of National Security and will be activated on Monday.

He says the National Security Ministry will partner with Crime Stop to facilitate the giving of information by members of the public and the dissemination of the reward.

The rewards range from $75,000 to $150,000, depending on the type of weapon recovered and the amount of ammunition seized as a result of the information given.

Holness also announced a second fund for information that lead to the capture of the top 20 instigators of violence in the country. He says $20 million has been allocated specifically for this.

Persons will be awarded $1 million for information that lead to a capture.

The prime minister further announced a five-day amnesty for the recovery of illegal weapons on any premises within the Special Zone of Operation. This means that persons who live or own any property on which an illegal weapon is recovered will not be prosecuted within the five-day period, which started yesterday. The amnesty does not apply to illegal weapons recovered on a person or properties outside the special zone.

In the meantime, the prime minister says the protocols governing the special zone are to be relaxed to consider students who may not have identification entering and leaving the restricted area. Holness says this is only to facilitate easy movement of students going and coming from school at the start of the new academic year tomorrow. He says after the first week students going to high school are expected to get their identification cards.

Based on feedback from residents within the special zone, Holness says the operation has been going good so far. He also commended the members of the joint security forces operating within the zone.

This article was adapted from the original, which appeared on the website of our sister paper, The Gleaner.

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