Vox pop for Western Focus
The illicit lottery scam is being blamed for the criminal mayhem that is now sweeping across western Jamaica. Since the start of the year, many persons have spoken out against this scourge. Here are some of the quotable quotes from The Gleaner's archives.
"The criminal gangs interface with lottery scammers in different ways, from extortion to protection, or otherwise providing some sort of service to the lottery scam. So what we find is that organised crime is behind a lot of what we are seeing, manifesting itself in the murder rate."
Peter Bunting - National Security Minister -
"We realise that we have to start with the young, impressionable minds and start curtailing this activity (lottery scamming) before it transitions from a socio-economic problem into a cultural one. That is why MOCA (Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency) saw it necessary to put on this kind of programme (anti-lottery scam campaign) in our schools."
Corporal Kevin Watson - MOCA officer -
"The football talent here (in Westmoreland) is drying up because of this lottery scamming. It is not right that these very gifted young people must turn to such a thing to sustain their lives and families."
Everton Tomlinson - President of the Westmoreland FA - July 2015
"You have some people who do it because of lack of options, but you have a lot of them who do it and they have other options ... you have a lot of high school students who are brilliant and going through school, who are doing it; they have not reached the working age yet ... but it is the fastest option for them."
Dwayne Vaz - Central Westmoreland (MP) - July 2015
The lottery scammers have been doing a lot of construction, building some large palatial dwellings, and the hardware stores have benefited. Is there any legislation that [we] can go to these hardware stores and say, 'All the monies you have gained from the lottery scamming, give it back'?"
Lloyd B. Smith - Central St James (MP) - July 2015