Courtney Smith, Director of the FID’s Legal Services Branch. (Image: contributed)

The St. Elizabeth Parish Court has ordered the forfeiture of just over $2 million taken from a farmer in the parish.

The Financial Investigations Division, FID, says $2,00,065 were ordered forfeited to the Crown by Parish Judge Mrs. D. Lawrence-Pivotte on January 25.

This is under Section 79 of the Proceeds of Crime Act, POCA.

The money and an illegal firearm were seized during a targeted police operation at the residence of Burges Clarke, a farmer in Broadleaf District in St. Elizabeth on March 1, 2022.

Clarke was charged with breaches of the Firearms Act and the cash seized under POCA.

Clarke claimed the money was proceeds from the sale of agricultural products, including pineapples, pumpkins and marijuana. But he failed to substantiate his statement with evidence or provide the name of any buyer.

Representatives from the Cannabis Licensing Authority confirmed that Mr. Clarke had not been issued a licence or any authorisation for the cultivation or sale of marijuana.

Director of the FID’s Legal Services Branch, Courtney Smith, has hailed the ruling.

Courtney Smith, Director of the Legal Services Branch at the FID.