Above: Parliament in Jamaica
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica’s House of Representatives has passed a bill to prosecute individuals involved in the widespread lottery scam targeting elderly residents of the United States.
The vote now paves the way for the bill to be signed into law by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.
Among the bill’s provisions include criminalizing the invitation or inducement of anyone to visit Jamaica for the purpose of committing an offence under the act, knowingly conducting a financial transaction with the proceeds of an offence, and obtaining any property or inducing any person to confer any benefit on any person by false pretence.
The bill also provides for powers of search and seizure and restitution. Those found guilty will be fined and sentenced to a prison term of up to 25 years.
National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the government would prosecute persons under the Act “as soon as possible.”
“We are moving this bill through all its stages urgently, so that it will come into law and the police will have this tool,” he said.
The lotto scam has reportedly defrauded mostly US residents out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
It was recently the subject of debate in the United States Congress, with US Senators Bill Nelson and Susan Collins deploring the scam.