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Elderly American 'money mule' held at Sangster's Airport

Published:Saturday | May 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

... St James man held with US$18,000

Adrian Frater, News Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:A Hanover man, who allegedly recruited a 70-year-old American woman to operate as a 'money mule', is among three persons who were nabbed in recent anti-lottery scam operations in western Jamaica.

The elderly woman, who is believed to have been a former victim who was apparently convinced by the 'scammer' to work as a 'money mule' for him, was intercepted at the Sangster's International Airport, in Montego Bay, with US$10,000.

A 20-year-old man who turned up at the airport under the guise that the elderly woman was his girlfriend, was intercepted by personnel from the Anti-Lottery Task Force and taken to his home, where a search was conducted.

"At his (the 20-year-old) home, we discovered items relating to identity fraud as well as other material of probative value," said Corporal Kevin Watson, the media and communication liaison officer with the Anti-Lottery Scam Task Force. "The information we have found would suggest that he has been involved in the lottery scam for at least two years."

MAN TO BE CHARGED

According to Watson, the man, who was yesterday questioned in the presence of his attorney, is to be charged under the Law Reform Fraudulent Transaction Special Provisions Act of 2013. The 70-year-old woman has since been sent back to the United States.

In another anti-lottery scam case, a St James man, whose identity is being withheld, was arrested at the Sangster's International Airport yesterday after a package containing 'baby wipes' which he had in his position, was searched and US$18,000 found.

"It should be interesting to note that this man left the island for the United States just six days ago and is now returning with US$18,000," said Watson. "After he was held, we searched his Rhyne Park home and found items relating to identity fraud plus other material of probative value."

"Based on the information we found at his home .... we have reasons to believe he has been involved in the lottery scam since 2009," said Watson. "We cannot yet disclose his identity but he is to be charged soon."