Update | Children taken from religious group's compound placed before the family court
Some 20 children removed from the Bayith Yahweh compound in Paradise, Montego Bay, are now at the St James Family Court being processed, says Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifford Chambers.
A joint police-military operation at the religious group's compound on Wednesday morning was prompted by concerns surrounding the minors at the location.
The operation was led by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).
Chambers says the adults were not arrested, but the authorities must exercise care and guardianship over the children that were removed.
He says the intention, in the first instance, is to conduct interviews of the children.
This is not the first time that the Jamaican authorities have removed children from the facility. In 2019, the Bayith's chief apostle, Omar Thompson, accused the authorities of traumatising his three children after they were taken from the property and handed over to their mother.
His wife at the time, Shirnett Davis Thompson, told The Gleaner that child marriages were commonplace at the communal compound. She alleged that teenagers as young as 15 were also impregnated by older men.
She said children residing at the compound are also segregated and not allowed to attend regular schools.
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