Prime Minister Andrew Holness has told a gathering of predominantly Jamaicans living in Canada that the enhanced security measures in St James have resulted in a ‘severe dent’ in lottery scamming activities in that parish.
St James, which has been under a state of public emergency since January 18, has been most affected by the illegal activity.
“The enhanced [security] measures that we have put into place in St James in particular have put a severe dent into the scamming activities,” Prime Minister Holness said in response to a question posed during the diaspora meeting, which was held at Praise Cathedral Worship Centre in Mississauga.
The prime minister further told the audience: “You may have followed the media to see that we have fulfilled extradition requests from the United States [to deal with] the top scammers in Jamaica, and we continue to work with our partners in the United States and here in Canada to ensure that we are uprooting, degrading and finally dismantling the scamming networks. I believe we are making significant progress in that area.”
In the meantime, the Jamaica Constabulary Force has reported that the state of emergency in St James also resulted in murders falling by 78 (or 66.1 percent) as at June 3, when compared to the corresponding period last year. Shootings are also down by 45, reflecting a reduction of 49.5 percent.
The police have theorized that a large number of the murders committed in recent years in St James are linked to lottery scamming.
By Horace Mills