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May 18, 2012
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Minister optimistic about police's efforts to crush lottery scam

Sandrea Falconer

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator Sandrea Falconer, has expressed optimism about the actions being taken by the police to squash the lottery scam, which in recent months has tainted the country's image overseas.

"The level of law enforcement against lottery scammers has been stepped up. I believe that the police are making major inroads into this illegal and criminal practice," she said, addressing the Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

urgent attention

Senator Falconer said Cabinet members received a report on developments regarding the lottery scam this week, and were advised that the activity requires urgent and coordinated national attention in order to prevent further damage to Jamaica and brand Jamaica.

"We were advised that the scam was a major aspect of organised crime with a value running into millions of United States dollars. Cabinet was advised of a plan of action to deal with the problem, efforts to address the problem by US law enforcement, the involvement of Jamaica's diplomatic missions, the implications of the lottery scam for national security, the economy and the country's image," she noted.

Recently, Minister of National Security Peter Bunting said his ministry will be seeking the support of the Ministry of Tourism in launching a public-education campaign nationally, to sensitise Jamaicans about the sophistry of lottery scamming.

"We have to be aware that these criminals have sophisticated propaganda machinery and they like to spread misinformation that this is a victimless crime, and that it is reparation for slavery, and a sort of Robin-Hood-type activity. This, we know, is nonsense. Therefore, we are going to have to maintain the pressure on them," Bunting stated.

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