Legislation to strengthen the efforts of law enforcement to effectively combat the illicit lottery scam was laid before the House of Representatives on February 26.
The Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act 2012, which was tabled by Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, makes specific provisions for offences relating to advanced fee fraud and other fraudulent transactions.
According to the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons, the growth of the lottery scam has developed quickly and in a complex manner, which has the potential to infiltrate all sectors of the society.
It noted further that the lottery scam, in its purest form, straddles both the spheres of organised and financial crimes.
“This, therefore, necessitates the need for effective legislative action to combat the growth of this criminal activity, as the law, in its present stage, has proven to be ineffective in prosecuting offenders,” the Bill states.
The Bill addresses, among other things: obtaining any property or inducing any person to confer any benefit on any person by false pretence; inviting or otherwise inducing a person to visit Jamaica for the purpose of committing an offence under the Act; and knowingly conducting a financial transaction with the proceeds of an offence. It also makes provisions for powers of search and seizure and restitution.
In addition, the Proceeds of Crime Act will be amended by Order to apply to the offences under the Act proposed by this Bill.
Speaking at a press conference last month, Minister Bunting said the Government would be moving to have the legislation passed by the end of the financial year on March 31.