PNP officials arrested in Jamaican lottery scam
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday July 19, 2012 – The recently elected People's National Party (PNP) is facing political fallout as two of its officials, deputy mayor of Montego Bay, Michael Troupe and the Councillor for the Salt Spring Division, Sylvan Reid, have been arrested as major players in the lottery scam.
Reports are that pre-dawn raids at their houses in St. James saw Troupe, his two sons and Reid detained by the task force and an illegal gun, J$380,000, US$10,000 and other items seized.
Now, the PNP is scrambling to distance itself from its arrested members.
A media release issued by chairman of the PNP, Robert Pickersgill, said the party was committed to the fight against crime.
“Both as a political party and as Government, we remain committed to the fight against criminality and will fully cooperate with the security forces to reduce and eliminate criminal activities in the country.”
The PNP, however, said it accepts the principle of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the right of those arrested to have their day in court.
Pickersgill went on to say “The People's National Party will offer no protection to any of its members or supporters who are engaged in criminal activities and will not seek to interfere or influence the work of the security forces in this regard.”
Head of the Lottery Scam Task Force Superintendent Leon Clunis reportedly said that Reid is also a close friend of Kenrick Stephenson, who was arrested by the task force in May.
Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, who is also the PNP general secretary, stated after the arrests that no politician accused of any wrongdoing would be treated above the law.