THIS afternoon, when the Lottery Scam Bill goes before the Senate, we hope that legislators will not only subject the provisions to careful examination and fine-tune them, but also pass the law.
Following on that, we urge the police to make good use of the law and throw the full weight of its provisions at the scammers against whom the State has evidence.
Indeed, the legislators and the police should not be detained by bleeding-heart liberals who, along with the lottery scammers and their surrogates, try to justify what is really a most evil crime.
We reiterate that we stand resolute in our view that this country should take strong action against the cruel, callous and iniquitous individuals who are involved in the lottery scam.
For we are outraged at the number of murders committed in the name of this scam, as well as the many lives that have been ruined by the criminals involved in the fraud.
The Jamaican police have told us that the lottery scam is responsible for up to 80 per cent of the murders committed in St James. In addition, the United States authorities have revealed that in 2011 they received approximately 30,000 complaints from American citizens about Jamaican lottery fraud.
We have, in the past, published heart-breaking reports of the experiences of the mostly elderly victims of these criminals.
The story of 76-year-old New Jersey resident Ann Mowie, who had been fleeced of her entire life savings by heartless scammers, still haunts us. Ms Mowie, dejected and heartbroken by her experience, took her own life in October 2007.
On Wednesday this week, the US Senate Special Committee on Ageing's hearing into the lottery scam received testimony from Ms Kim Nichols of Hermon, in Maine, whose father, a retired professional pilot living in New Hampshire, lost US$85,000 to scammers.
"They are arrogant and they clearly know they can continue to operate without consequence," Ms Nichols said of the lottery scammers.
Her testimony, and that of another relative of a victim, resulted in senators Susan Collins and Bill Nelson calling for the American Government to extradite lottery scammers.
"We want to see them extradited to the US. That will have a chilling effect on a number of these people who think they are bulletproof," Senator Nelson told the hearing.
We support the senators' call and hope that Washington will act on it, because these criminals are destroying lives.
The few Jamaicans who give support and shelter to lottery scammers should also bear in mind that their actions are also damaging the country's reputation abroad and pose a danger to the jobs of many Jamaicans.
It is against that background that we renew a call we made in this space some months ago for the Government to engage in public education about the lottery scam. Jamaicans, especially those who benefit from the scammers' blood money, should be made aware of the devastating effects of this crime.
In addition, every law-abiding Jamaican should consider it their duty to give information to the police about the activities of these criminals, because they are enriching themselves at the expense of the entire country.
At the same time, the Jamaican and US law enforcement teams that have been collaborating on apprehending the scammers should press harder against the criminals. Make their lives hell.