Bailey says illicit schemes threatening nation's legitimacy
Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Fitz Bailey, who heads the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID), thinks Jamaica could end up being blacklisted by the United States if measures are not found quickly to curtail the illicit lottery scam and the proliferation of human trafficking.
"The proliferation of the schemes like the lottery scam, identity theft, credit and debit fraud, cybercrimes and human trafficking has serious implication for us as a nation," Bailey said while speaking in Montego Bay, St James, on Tuesday. "These (the various schemes) undermine the legitimacy and reputation of the State."
He added: "For example, if the lottery scam, which based on the last figures was bringing in excess of US$300 million annually, is left unabated, it could have serious impact on commerce and trade and our ability to do business overseas. If they (the perpetrators) continue with this, we could be blacklisted by the United States of America."
The senior crime fighter, whose unit is mandated to break the back of the various illicit schemes, said that based on information he is privy to, Jamaica is walking a thin line in regard to its future relationship with the US.
"When there is a crisis, a special response is needed," declared Bailey, who was giving the keynote address at the press launch of a two-day security expo to be staged by the Western Jamaica Campus of the University of the West Indies at the Half Moon Hotel on November 28.
"Our legislative framework should be so strong that perpetrators become afraid to engage in crime because they would know that justice is swift, severe and certain," added Bailey.
In re-emphasising that crime negatively impacts the entire nation and its various scopes for development, the senior policeman said fighting the criminal scourge should be everybody's business.
"Crime and violence is intrinsically linked to development and no longer can we see it as a police issue ... . It is a developmental issue," the lawman said. "If we are to secure our nation, partnership is the buzzword."
Bailey said partnership against crime must be broad-based and must include members of the private sector, civil society, the Church, youth organisations and human-rights groups.
The upcoming expo will include a panel discussion which will feature retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Denver Frater, former Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields and Commander George Overton of the Guardsman Group.