JIS News

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has fortified the Jamaican Government’s determination to nail lottery scammers and stamp out the illegal activity, which has affected a number of United States citizens.

Minister Bunting gave the administration’s commitment during meetings with various groups and stakeholders in Washington DC, where he is joined by State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson.

Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, in outlining details of the trip at the Jamaica House press briefing on Wednesday, March 13, said Minister Bunting delivered a formal submission to the Senate Special Committee on Aging and met individually with Senators Bill Nelson (Chairman), and Republican Susan Collins.

He also met with key staffers of six Senators on the Committee, Senator Falconer said.

She informed that Minister Robinson, who is Chairman of the Anti-lottery Scam Inter-ministerial Committee, has done five television and radio interviews, and has also appeared on the widely viewed and influential news and political blog, The Huffington Post.

A number of other interviews were scheduled for Wednesday, some of which targeted areas that have been most affected by the lottery scam including Florida, Colorado, Detroit, Baltimore, and Boston.

Additionally, Minister Falconer said Jamaica’s Ambassador to the U.S., Professor Stephen Vasciannie, has submitted an op-ed to the Huffington Post, which has twice the circulation of the Washington Post.

An op-ed (opposite the editorial page) is an article that expresses the opinions of the writer, who is usually unaffiliated with the publication.

Senator Falconer, in the meantime, rejected suggestions that the Government was slow in clamping down on the scam, through which criminals have defrauded a number of American citizens.

She said it is this administration that has taken the most decisive steps to curb the illegal activity, noting that within his first month in office, Minister Bunting initiated measures to address the scourge.

“The most intense campaign against the lottery scam started in 2012 when we took office. Minister Bunting went on the offensive against lottery scammers, and we have developed a number of programmes,” she stated.

In February, Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, along with Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington; and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, made presentations on the lottery scam issue, at the Inter-American Dialogue.

This is a Washington forum, which focuses on the Caribbean and Latin American issues.

Minister Bunting returned to the island on Wednesday.

By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporters