Jamaica Gleaner / WESTERN BUREAU:
It would appear that the recent arrest and subsequent extradition of several top players in the lottery scam has driven so much fear into the hearts of other local scammers that they are running scared and dropping out of sight.
According to Sergeant Kevin Watson, who heads the local Anti-Lottery Scam Task Force, many scammers have gone into hiding, while others have abandoned the illicit scheme and are now opting for a legitimate source of earnings.
“Persons (scammers) are now afraid because they realise that the thing is getting quite risky. They are now worried about being caught,” Watson told The Gleaner . “Lottery scammers are finally realising just how serious we are. Not many of them, especially the top-tier guys, thought we were serious.”
The scammers, who first came to the fore in Montego Bay, St James, in 2006, and who have been spreading their tentacles across the island in recent years, got a major jolt earlier this year when Lavrick Willocks, the reputed ‘kingpin’ of scamming, was arrested in Kingston. He subsequently waived his rights to an extradition hearing and was sent to the United States (US).
Subsequent to Willocks’ extradition, several members of his inner circle, including family members, were arrested. Eight of his associates, including former police Constable Jason Jahalal, were recently extradited. Four persons are now in custody, challenging their extradition.
With the changing tide and the US government adamant that the scammers must pay for their criminal assault on many of its citizens, especially the elderly and vulnerable, fear has replaced the ‘flossing’ and flamboyance with which scammers once operated with almost total impunity.
Watson, while quite pleased with the success that has been attained under the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act (the lottery scam law), wants to see the local justice system coming down harder on the scammers in terms of stiffer penalties.
“One of the things that can create more impact locally is getting the entire justice system on board. We want some form of precedent set here as it relates to lottery scammers, to let it be known to the public that we are very serious,” said Watson.
Interestingly, Watson said some of the 500 persons who are reportedly wanted by the US are supposedly flying in an out of the States without being apprehended. He, however, said their freedom would be short-lived as once a case has been built against them, they, too, will be arrested, charged, and extradited.
CARACAS.- La espera terminó y los Rays de Tampa Bay, en teoría, reforzaron la posición que menos le estaba aportando a la ofensiva con el regreso del criollo Wilson Ramos a las mayores. ?Estamos felices por tener a Wilson Ramos con nosotros? , dijo Kevin Cash a MLB.com. ?Me imagino que probablemente tenía algunas inquietudes…
La compraventa de inmuebles como Torre Agbar, Xanadú y el Edificio España aumenta un 70% la inversión en el primer semestre hasta los 6.000 millones de euros. La inversión inmobiliaria vuelve a registrar cifras récord en el mercado español. A falta de apenas cuatro días del cierre del semestre, la compraventa de edificios y solares…
san fernando Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley prayed with members of the Muslim community and distributed zakat (charity) to the needy as he celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr at two masjids in San Fernando yesterday. He attended the Eid services on an invitation from Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein, who is also referred to as a…
gasparillo The mother of a disabled child was shot dead inside her apartment in Gasparillo yesterday. Ornella Philips, 28, was shot once in the chest. Her body was discovered lying in the living room around 10 a.m. The country’s murder toll now stands at 243. Her eight-year-old daughter, Kayla, has cerebral palsy and depends…
ISTANBUL (AP): Turkish police stopped activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights from gathering in large numbers for an LGBT Pride event in Istanbul yesterday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements, defying a ban imposed by the governor. Organisers of the 2017 Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride had vowed to march in central Taksim…
LONDON (AP): The list of high-rise apartment towers in Britain that have failed fire-safety tests grew to 60, officials said yesterday, revealing the mounting challenge the government faces in the aftermath of London’s Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. All of the buildings for which external cladding samples were so far submitted failed combustibility tests, Communities Secretary…
BAHAWALPUR (AP): Alerted by an announcement over a mosque’s loudspeaker that an overturned tanker truck had sprung a leak, scores of villagers raced to the scene with fuel containers yesterday to gather the oil. Then the wreck exploded, engulfing people in flames as they screamed in terror. At least 153 men, women and children were…
WASHINGTON (AP): Making a final push, United States President Donald Trump said he doesn’t think congressional Republicans are “that far off” on a health overhaul to replace “the dead carcass of Obamacare”. Expressing frustration, he complained about “the level of hostility” in government and wondered why both parties can’t work together on the Senate bill…
While reliving the horrors experienced by so many families after another spate of bizarre violence across the country last week, I couldn’t help but picture Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett’s rictus grin plastered on television screens while the elderly and even suckling babes were being gruesomely slaughtered inside their homes. While the rest of us were…
- 19 April, 2018 17 per cent decrease in serious crimes…as murder rate increases
- 19 April, 2018 Angry sea warning
- 19 April, 2018 Security Guard gunned down in Port of Spain
- 19 April, 2018 Education ministry, JCF to stage Anti-Gang Week
- 19 April, 2018 Police High Command Working To Save Jobs Of Detainees Under State Of Emergency
- 19 April, 2018 IDB launches initiative to promote savings for retirement in the C’bean
- 19 April, 2018 ZOSO is working in Mount Salem Residents, politicians join in praising anti-crime initiative
- 19 April, 2018 Downswell, Mycowave to flavour Curry Fest
- 19 April, 2018 Stirring The Pot @ SeaSide Dutchie Counting Down To The 20th Staging Of The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards, Thursday, May 31, 2018
- 19 April, 2018 Highlights of Outsource2Jamaica Symposium and Expo