Monday, 22 October 2012

US may block remittances to Jamaica

GENERATION 2000 (G2K), the young professional arm of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has warned that without swift and resolute action from the Government, the United States may seek to halt remittance services to Jamaica as a means of protecting its citizens.
"This potential loss of revenue for many poor and unemployed Jamaicans would be detrimental in light of our current economic crisis," G2K said.
In a news release last week, the JLP affiliate expressed disappointment at "the lack of urgency and the nonchalance" being shown by National Security Minister Peter Bunting in dealing with the trends in crime. It also criticised him for "continuing to drag his feet on the tabling of necessary amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act, needed to give the police the requisite support to tackle the main players in the lottery scam, and pointed out that legislators in the United States House of Representatives are deliberating on ways to curb the illicit activity.
"On September 12, 2012, the inspector general of the US Social Security Administration, Patrick P O'Carroll Jr, raised concerns about the effects of the Jamaican lottery scam on US citizens when he testified before the US House of Representatives," G2K said.
"The inspector general also spoke to the misuse of remittance services and the use of US senior citizens' personally identifiable information by criminals to fraudulently redirect their Social Security benefits to other financial accounts without the victims' authorisation," it said.
The organisation said that in light of the threat, it is calling on Bunting to act, or Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to appoint a competent and qualified individual who will do so.
President of Generation 2000, Floyd Green, also noted in the statement that "the current administration has been lackadaisical, at best, in its approach to crime fighting, only initiating any real push towards new legislation after crimes of extraordinary savagery occur.
"The silence of the minister of national security in relation to calls for urgent legislative reforms is unacceptable, and signifies his apathetic approach towards crime fighting. The people of Jamaica have again begun to lose confidence in the ability of the security forces to facilitate justice. This, after major inroads were made over the previous two years," he added.

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