Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
THE MANCHESTER police are on a drive to keep lottery scammers out of the parish who, in recent times, have sought refuge here.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Derrick Cochrane, head of Area 3, said, "We have what we call in law enforcement the balloon effect. An analogy is drawn with an inflated balloon when you squeeze one part and that part bulges, and when pressure is placed on criminals in some part of the island, they naturally disperse to other parts of the island."
Cochrane added: "We have seen manifestation of the balloon effect in terms of the lottery scammers, pressure has been placed on them in a very effective way since February of this year. The sad truth is, we have seen some of these players migrating into Manchester in particular and Mandeville in general."
A large anti-crime initiative was carried out in Mandeville and its environs recently jointly by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force and the Anti-Lottery Scam Task Force.
The operation lasted for eight hours and five persons were detained, processed and released. Three of them were reportedly members of the lottery scam who operated out of St James. According to the police, one of the three is a founding member of the lottery scam in western Jamaica.
"Police in western Jamaica had lost him off their radar, so to speak," Cochrane said. "Some persons were of the opinion that he died, but he was found very quietly, very low-key in Mandeville.
"He wasn't wanted by the police, but intelligence suggests that he is one of the key persons in the lottery scam."
Three motor vehicles were seized in the operation, along with computers and cellular phones. "Investigations are ongoing in relations to the Proceeds of Crimes Act where the items are concerned," Cochrane said.