Cop among 7 facing extradition for lotto scam

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — A policeman was among 19 people arrested in major anti-lottery scam operations carried out by several units of the constabulary between Tuesday and yesterday in the parishes of St James, Trelawny, St Ann, Kingston and St Andrew.


The 19 included seven women, while cash amounting to $1.8 million and a motor car were seized during the operations.


"One of the persons taken into custody is one of our own, and that individual will be subjected to similar legal processes in continuation of our investigations," said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Devon Watkis, head of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC).


The arrest of the policeman, he said, showed that the constabulary’s investigations include all those who are responsible for criminal activities


He added: "We will continue these investigations until we are able to arrest the persons who are connected to [the lottery scam]. … We will not allow these activities to continue…"


The C-TOC boss, who was speaking to journalists at a press briefing held yesterday at the conference room of the Falmouth Police Station, said seven of the 19 held, including the policeman, are likely to face extradition to the United States, where hundreds of people, many of them elderly, have been fleeced of millions of dollars by lottery scammers operating mainly in western Jamaica.


"...[The] intention is for us to execute warrants on persons who may be the subject of extradition warrants. Already we have at least seven persons we can confirm may be subjected to these processes. The names of which we will not reveal at this time," said the assistant commissioner.


Although he refused to name the policeman and the station to which he was assigned, ACP Watkis said he was nabbed in Kingston.


In the meantime, ACP Watkis revealed that international law enforcement officers partnered with the more than 200 members of C-TOC, the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, the Financial Investigations Division, the Constabulary Financial Unit, the Mobile Reserve, and the Area One Police in the raids that involved the search of 20 locations.


Those arrested were being investigated for breaches of The Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions), (Special Provisions) Act, 2013, as well as breaches of the Firearms Act, Anti-Gang Act, and Proceeds of Crime Act.

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