US seeks ex­tra­di­tions in lot­tery scam

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

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)

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