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Jamaica Tries to Seize Cash from Convicted Drug Lord


Jamaican authorities have continued to push their case that the state can take possession of J$18 million (US$100,000) that was confiscated from a home owned by convicted drug lord Donald “Zeeks” Phipps in Havendale, St Andrew, more than seven years ago.

The case is being pressed by the Financial Investigation Division of the Ministry of Finance, which is taking the issue to the Supreme Court when the new session starts in September. Zeeks was denied an appeal of his life sentence for double murder by the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; now the FID is going after his money.

This isn’t the first time they have been down this road. The state confiscated more than J$9 million (US$43,000) previously from Zeeks, but his legal team was able to make a case that the money came from a number of legitimate businesses Zeeks owns. This time the FID believes it has overwhelming evidence to prove that the J$18 million was not obtained through legitimate means.

When contacted last week by the Gleaner, chief technical director of the FID, Albert Stephens said a solid case was being prepared for the money to be forfeited but he would not disclose the strategy to be employed.

However, Stephens was confident that the court will rule in the State’s favor. The FID has a vast amount of evidence to use to make its case—Zeeks’ murder trial and his subsequent appeals unearthed proof that the state believes will help it make a case for the forfeiture.


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