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Government braces for lottery scam fallout

Published:Thursday | March 14, 2013 | 1:22 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

National security minister, Peter Bunting has said the Government was prepared for the negative US media coverage, as a result of the effects of the lottery scam.

Bunting was speaking this morning at a special press briefing at Jamaica House.

Bunting and ICT state minister Julian Robinson have just returned from the US, where they met with government officials and members of civil society to discuss matters relating to the lottery scam.

The national security minister sought to assure that the Government was prepared for any eventuality in light of yesterday's US Senate Hearing, as well as the airing of several documentaries.

A US Senate Hearing yesterday heard testimonies from relatives of victims on the financial destruction on senior Americans.

Bunting also explained that much damage to Jamaica's reputation had been taking place over several years and not just in recent days.

In a jab at the opposition, the national security minister said the previous government's response to the scam was slow from as early as 2007 when it emerged.

Bunting was supported by Justice Minister, Mark Golding, who argued that there was no preparatory work done on legislation to fight the fraud when the People's National Party took office.

In the meantime, head of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force, ACP Carl Williams told journalists that the police are providing adequate attention to new trends in its push to crush the scam. 

The Law Reform Fraudulent Transactions Special Provisions Act 2013, which will outlaw scamming is to go to the Senate tomorrow for approval.

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