The Integrity Commission says a total of 61 public officials have been referred to it over a six year period over allegations of illicit enrichment or filing false information.

The figure is contained in the Commission’s annual report.

Nora Gaye Banton has more in this report.

There’s hardly a Jamaican who has not heard of the so-called illicit-6.

It’s purportedly a group of six unnamed Members of Parliament who are being investigated by the Integrity Commission for having acquired wealth through illicit means.

But by the Integrity Commission’s own report, that six is closer to sixty. 

Sixty-one public officials to be exact.

The Commission says between April 2018 and March 2024, 13 Members of Parliament have been referred to it for illicit enrichment or filing false information.

Those MPs are not named by the Commission.

No member of the Senate has been referred to the Commission over the six year period for illicit enrichment.

But legislators are not the only public officials being scrutinised for ill gotten wealth.

The Commission says over the period, 2 councillors and a Permanent Secretary have been on its radar for ill-gotten gains.

Again, the individuals are not named.

Five heads of entities, 40 other public officials are also highlighted as being referred over the period.

That totals 61 referrals for illicit enrichment and filing false information.

The Commission does not specify which officials fall into the category of “other public officials”.

The anti corruption watchdog has a caution for members of the public.

It says it has no control over the numerous complaints and allegations it receives.

It says it has a duty to investigate them and make note of its allegations.

But importantly, the Commission says the fact that it launches an investigation is not in and of itself remarkable.

In fact, the Commission’s chairman, Retired Justice Seymour Panton, specifically highlights that allegations of crimes sent to the police are sometimes investigated and found to be without merit.

Justice Panton says the Commission has no control over speculations, rumours or mischief making in society.

The question then is, is this controversy over the illicit-6 all sound and no fury? That’s to be seen.