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Senate amends anti-lottery scam bill

Published:Thursday | March 21, 2013 | 12:21 PM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Amendments have been made to the legislation to outlaw the lottery scam, after the Senate delayed debate on the bill by a week to address concerns in the original document.

Leader of Government Business, AJ Nicholson resumed the debate on the Law Reform Fraudulent Transactions Special Provisions Act 2013 this morning, in the Senate by noting that agreement had been reached with regards to several amendments.

Senator Nicholson noted that the controversial clause which makes it an offence for a person to be in possession of property that is not properly accounted for will not be amended.

Defence attorney Bert Samuels who had raised concerns about the clause had argued that if passed into law it would shift the burden of proof.

However, Senator Nicholson said it is the accused person who would be best able to prove how they came to possess the property.

Also speaking in the debate was government senator KD Knight, who is a defence attorney, said he was more satisfied with the bill in the current form.

But he said he was concerned that the sentences proposed are too high.

Senator Knight also said he was concerned about an aspect of the bill that deals with the possession of property not accounted for.

He said this may touch on constitutional issues and asked the Justice Minister Mark Golding to have his law officers re-check the clause.

In the meantime, Senator Knight aid some of the persons who fall prey to the lottery scam are motivated by greed.

Meanwhile, the Government has engaged United States lobby group Finn Partners to assist Jamaica in dealing with matters related to the lottery scam.

Leader of Government Business in the Senate, AJ Nicholson made the disclosure today, as he contributed to the debate on the anti-lottery scam bill.

He also told the Senate that they should not fall for misinformation which suggests that the Government has been doing nothing to combat the effects of the scam.

Senator Nicholson also dismissed as false, suggestions that the former Jamaica Labour Party government did not do anything to conquer the lottery scam.

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