US seeks extraditions in lottery scam
KINGSTON – Jamaican authorities are in possession of a number of extradition requests made by their counterparts in the United States, for persons accused of being involved in the deadly lottery scam.
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck acknowledged, during a recent interview, that he was aware of the extradition requests, but revealed that they had not yet gone through the processes set out in law.
“They have been brought to my attention. There are some pending that have to go through the process,” Chuck told The Gleaner.
The disclosure comes eight months after the US Embassy in Kingston warned that prosecutors in several cities across America were getting ready to unleash a wave of extradition requests for persons believed to be involved in the scam.
In April, as eight Jamaicans, including a police constable, were about to be extradited to North Dakota to face a slew of lottery scam-related charges, Joshua Polacheck, then counsellor for public affairs at the US Embassy, warned that “American prosecutors had dozens of cases” that were “at the extradition stage”.
“That means most of them are with US attorneys [offices], getting ready to be sent to the Ministry of Justice,” said Polacheck, explaining the “extradition stage”.
He revealed that Jamaican and American law enforcement agencies were jointly pursuing between 3 000 and 5 000 lottery scam investigations and indicated that as many as 300 cases were at the pre-extradition stage.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg. We expect to see just a steady flow of people going up to the United States to face justice for this crime,” he declared then.
Jamaican police insiders revealed that nearly all the requests received in recent weeks were for offences related to the lottery scam, or advance-fee scheme, used to bilk elderly American citizens of millions of dollars. (Jamaica Gleaner)