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Lottery scam causing murders - Bunting

Published:Friday | July 17, 2015 | 5:14 PMChristopher Thomas
Peter Bunting


Minister of National Security Peter Bunting has announced that additional resources will be provided to the St James police division this week in an effort to curb the recent spike in murders in the parish. Bunting attributed the increase in murders to lottery-scam activities.

"Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake has made arrangements together with Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Ferguson (who heads the Area One police division), to put additional resources in the St James division as of (this) week," Bunting said, following a tour of the Rose Heights community in St James, where two men were gunned down by unknown assailants during a wave of violence in the parish, which left five men dead last week Thursday.

"We are contemplating imposing curfews on a number of communities," Bunting continued, in addressing the immediate response to be taken following the latest spate of killings.


"We have gone through an analysis of what is happening, and it is essentially consistent with the statement I made in Parliament on Tuesday (July 14), that a lot of the funding for the criminal activity is coming through the lottery scamming," said Bunting. "The criminal gangs interface with lottery scammers in different ways, from extortion to protection or otherwise providing some sort of service to the lottery scam. So what we find is that organised crime is behind a lot of what we are seeing, manifesting itself in the murder rate."

Nevertheless, Bunting vowed his ministry would continue its fight against lottery scamming and other types of organised crime.

"Myself and the permanent secretary in my ministry, we will be going to Washington to hold talks with a number of state department and law-enforcement officials there, with a view to increasing the level of cooperation in the fight against lottery scamming and narcotics trafficking, and also building the capabilities of the local security forces to counter any attempts at violent extremism in our counter-terrorism capacities," said Bunting.

He was on tour with members of the St James police in the communities of Rose Heights, Glendevon and Norwood, in response to Thursday night's rampage by gunmen in the parish, which has recorded approximately 135 murders since the start of the year.