Scammers should be punished!
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I would like to clarify the issue you raised in your editorial on June 13, 2012, 'Scammers must pay first', where you question whether my comments in the 12 June 2012 publication in response to one of your reporter's questions meant that I thought the scammers should not be punished. This cannot be further from the truth.
When I was called by your reporter, the topic was 'Life after scamming', and the question was (my paraphrase): "Now that the police are cracking down on the scammers, what interventions do you believe should be implemented in order for it not to mushroom again?"
Therefore, I commented on the assumption that all the consequences of any criminal activity were already administered and that we were considering interventions that would prevent and dissuade other persons from entering into new scamming activities.
Personally, I believe that the scammers must be pursued relentlessly and punished to the maximum. I also agree with the commissioner of police that, where possible, they should be extradited to the United States where we know that they will be prosecuted swiftly and appropriately incarcerated.
Furthermore, I have commented on several occasions, publicly and otherwise, how cruel a crime scamming is and the destructive effects it has, not only on the lives of its innocent victims, but the potentially devastating effect it is having on the information and communication technology industry in Jamaica, which more than 10,000 families depend on to make a living.
It is a heinous and cold-hearted crime that has cost several lives through murder and suicide, and must be stopped at all cost and the perpetrators prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Where possible, all their ill-gotten gains should be confiscated and used to reimburse their victims and strengthen the fight against similar criminal activities.
I hope that this clarifies any misunderstanding that might have arisen.
MARK N. KERR-JARRETT (JP)