Chuck wants firm stance against ‘scamming’
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck is urging Jamaicans, especially those residing in Montego Bay, St James, to take a firm stance against the lottery scam despite the level of acceptance the practice has gained due to its spin-off financial benefits.
"I know there is strong support, regrettably, for lotto scamming in many communities across Jamaica because people see the proceeds as reparation because it helps the people in the community and even for legitimate activities," said Chuck as he addressed the opening of a training session for community leaders in the delivery of justice services at the Montego Bay Convention Centre yesterday.
"But we, the decent citizens, must appreciate that we have a duty to condemn it, and not only to condemn it, but to expose it wherever we can," added Chuck, who noted that lottery scamming has placed Jamaica under the scrutiny of international law enforcement.
"Our knowledge tells us that those who engage in these criminals activities, they have a period of joy, but before long, the pain comes, and we see it here in Montego Bay," Chuck continued.
"Yes, the money flows and a few people feel good, but now, they are fighting over the money. It is no secret that much of the violence and murders are directly related to lotto scamming ... . We as a nation have to ask ourselves, how far are we sinking that sometimes we justify it (scamming) because money is flowing?"
Chuck also warned that Montego Bay was currently in the middle of the modern security transition, with traditional transnational crimes such as drugs and gun-related offences being supplanted by cybercrimes, including lottery scamming.
Thousands of Jamaicans are now under the microscope as law-enforcement officials from the United States, where many elderly residents have been targeted by lottery scammers, have collaborated with Jamaican authorities to bring a halt to scamming and other telemarketing-related crimes.
Under the Project JOLT (Jamaican Operations Linked to Telemarketing), an international task force focused on combating Jamaica-based telemarketing fraud operations, approximately 26 Jamaicans were recently indicted in the US District Court of North Dakota on 60 counts of money-laundering conspiracy charges.