A DRAFT bill which is intended to assist law-enforcement officers in tackling advance fee fraud such as the lottery scam should be on the desk of Justice Minister Mark Golding by next week.
Speaking in the Senate yesterday, Golding said he had been told by the draftsman in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel that headway was being made with the proposed legislation.
"That would be a major achievement if that deadline could be achieved as, you know, legislation takes time," Golding said.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had recommended to Golding that the Government consider creating an advance fee fraud statute along the lines of one which exists in Nigeria. Among other things, the office has recommended that it be made a criminal offence for people to possess lead sheets and other materials used in the lottery scam.
Speaking during a debate on the Evidence (Amendment) Act, Golding said the bill, when passed into law, will be critical to the tackling of the lottery scam.
"There is legislation being developed now which is looking at the whole question of the substantive criminal law in relation to the types of fraud that are involved in the lotto scamming activity, which emerged in the last few years, and our laws are somewhat dated in this regard, and have not really provided the necessary tools in enabling the effective prosecution of these activities," Golding said.