Western News

Lotto scam could result in trade embago — SSP Fitz Bailey

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, November 01, 2012    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James - HEAD of the Organised Crime Investigation Division, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Fitz Bailey says the United States could impose a trade embargo on Jamaica, if the lottery scam is allowed to continue.

“If the lottery scam is left unabated, it can have serious impact on commerce and trade, and our ability to do business overseas. And if we continue like this, we might be blacklisted by the United States of America,” SSP Bailey argued.

He further noted: “As a matter of fact, from where I sit I was privy to certain information — and so you have to be very careful, and that is why it is very important that we wake up as Jamaicans.”

SSP Bailey contended that the proliferation of the various fraud schemes, such as the lottery scam, identity theft, credit and debit card fraud are some of the crimes that undermine the legitimacy and reputation of the State.

Players in the lottery scam target mostly elderly persons in the United States who are informed that they are required to send processing fees in order to access winnings from phony sweepstakes.

The scam, which is deeply rooted in the resort city of Montego Bay and which rakes in an estimated US$300 million annually, is said to be responsible for the majority of murders committed in the city.

SSP Bailey was speaking in Montego Bay on Tuesday at a press launch for a security exposition to be staged jointly by the University of the West Indies Mona; Western Jamaica Campus’ Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication, in collaboration with the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The exposition is to be hosted at the Half Moon Conference Centre on November 28 and 29.

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