UNITED STATES Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater has expressed optimism that the island is on the cusp of realising "some good successes" in the fight against the lottery scam.
Bridgewater, in a media interview following a press conference at Jamaica House where high-ranking members of the Government provided an update on efforts being made to conquer the lottery scam, said she was very pleased that the Government was pushing ahead on the legislative front in the fight against the scam.
"We feel that it is going to give us great grounds for continuing to move forward," Bridgewater said.
The House of Representatives recently passed the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013, which carries penalties of up to 25 years for persons involved in lottery-scamming activities. The bill is to be considered by the Senate today.
National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the recent piece of legislation would complement the amendment to the Evidence Act, which allows video recording of an interview with a witness to be admitted into evidence.
Bridgewater said "there has been commitment and resolve on the part of the Government" in tackling the scam.
She hailed the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force, formed in 2012 to counter the lottery scam, and the Financial Investigations Division as local agencies which are doing "important groundwork" in the fight against the scam. She also said the Jamaica Operations Linked to Telemarketing Task Force continues to work alongside local authorities in the fight.
"I think we are going to have some good successes with this cooperation," Bridgewater said.
Bunting yesterday said the matter of the lottery scam was getting the same amount of attention, and "we are dealing with it with the same amount of urgency as we do with any important activity".