Thu | Jul 2, 2015

Scammers using banks to launder ill-gotten gains

Published:Wednesday | October 31, 2012

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer



The police in St James have indicated that some commercial banks in western Jamaica could be unknowingly helping persons involved in the lottery scam to launder their ill-gotten cash.




Head of the St James Police Superintendent Egbert Parkins has revealed that the police have uncovered a new trend where scammers have turned to staging parties as a means of getting their illicit funds into the formal banking system.



Superintendent Parkins explains that the scammers put on major parties, charge little to no entry fees, and offer free food and drinks to patrons under the guise of being an all-inclusive event.



He further says the scammers then report massive profits, but in reality the funds they fleeced from unsuspecting persons.



Superintendent Parkins says this is being used as a way to get their ill-gotten money into the formal banking system.



He was speaking at a special leadership forum for senior members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in Kingston yesterday.



Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkis, who heads the Area One Police, says this emerging practice by the scammers will lead to changes in the way the police approve permits for certain entertainment events.



When contacted, President of the Jamaica Bankers’ Association Bruce Bowen said he was not aware of the specific scheme.



But he says local financial institutions with branches in St James are being extra careful to ensure that they get an explanation for large cash deposits.



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livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com