Alleged top scammer extradited
Lavrick Willocks, the Jamaican man accused by American authorities of running a multimillion-dollar international lottery scam syndicate, has been extradited to the United States (US) to stand trial.
Willocks was taken from the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in downtown Kingston on Thursday and transported to the Norman Manley International Airport, where he was handed over to US marshalls.
The 27-year-old from Greenwood, St James, is among 17 Jamaicans who have been indicted in the state of North Dakota on charges of money laundering, wire fraud, conspiracy, and attempting to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.
Two of the 17 are disc jockey Deon-Ville O'Hara, better known as Wah Wa, and Sanjay Williams have already been convicted.
Eight others, including Police Constable Jason Jahalal, are fighting their extradition.
Prosecutors in North Dakota have alleged that since 2009, the men were part of a criminal organisation led by Willocks, which used an advance-fee scheme, or lottery scam to defraud 80 elderly American victims of approximately US$5.6 million (J$1.3 billion).
Willcocks appeared in a US District Court on Friday and requested a public defender. He said he barely has US$15,000 (J$1.9 million) and no assets.