Nine Jamaicans detained in lottery, money laundering scams

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday June 28, 2013 – Police have detained nine people in the western part of the island as they continue investigations into money laundering and lottery scamming activities.

The joint operation involving members of the Major Organised Crime Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA) and the Financial Investigation Division (FID) swooped down on the communities of Norwood, Paradise and John’s Hall in St. James as well as the community of Welcome in Hanover.  

The police said the six men and three women are being questioned in the presence of their lawyers, and that formal charges will be laid at a later date.

The police said they were also warning people against helping others involved in the illegal money laundering and lottery scam activities.

“Do not be used. Do not let them (criminals) use you to facilitate or conduct transactions on their behalf, as you will find yourself on the wrong side of the law,” said MOCA communications officer, Inspector Dahlia Garrick.

Many people have been fleeced of a significant amount of money by scammers who call unsuspecting persons, mainly in the United States, informing them that they have won millions of dollars. The victims are told that in order to receive prize, they need to make a cash payment to the criminals.

The police say more than 200 Jamaicans have been killed due to disputes between lottery scammers.

The Jamaica government says it hopes the new Lottery Scam Bill, the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013 will help to eradicate the scam, for which the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reportedly received about 30,000 complaints from American citizens in 2011. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)