National Security Minister Peter Bunting has warned that thousands of jobs could be lost if the illegal lottery scam operating in Montego Bay is not brought under control.
In an address to the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Bunting said people most likely to be affected are those employed to call centres and the tourism industry.
“Certainly the whole call centre is going to be threatened and ten thousand or so jobs. Certainly tourism is going to be at risk as well, people are going to be fearful that they come here and if they run a credit card information is skimmed and they might become the victims of fraud” said Bunting at a function organised by the Chamber of Commerce to address crime in the western parish of St James.
The National Security Minister added that there is no specific law in Jamaica that deals directly with scamming, as a result most of those detained for their involvement in the scam are not charged.
In commending the police for clamping down on some of the major players in the illegal activity, Bunting announced that additional security personnel have been deployed to the tourist resort town and the government is considering upgrading nearby police stations.
St James has the highest numbers of murders per capita in the country, statistics the police surmise are fuelled largely by the predominance of the lottery scam.