Gleaner- Proceeds from lotto scamming, money laundering, cybercrimes and drug and firearms trafficking have reportedly resulted in the annual flow of at least $US1 billion into Jamaica.
The illicit activities are posing a ‘grave risk’ to the stability of the Jamaican State, declared Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Gordon House earlier this afternoon.
“The money is used to buy guns that kill people and it undermines and corrupts institutions and has a negative impact on the economy,” Chang said.
He argued that lotto scamming activities are more pervasive in Area One police division, particularly in the three parishes of St James, Westmoreland and Hanover.
The national security minister stressed that US$1 billion of illegitimate money is significant, noting that the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, the Financial Investigations Division and Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch are working closely to address the emerging major crisis in this area of criminality.
He said the gangs involved in lotto scamming and drugs transhipment tend to avoid petty crimes but target their competitors, which leading to a spike in murders in Area One.
Chang said the homicide rate in Area One has jumped by 53 per cent over last year’s figures.