The image of many African countries has been stained internationally because of the large number of 419 and lottery scams that originate from them. Jamaican authorities say they’re determined to do something about it.
These fraud schemes don’t just affect the country’s image, but they’re also bad for the economy, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnaldo Brown said, cited by Jamaica Information Service.
“Certainly, for local and international investors, they want to be confident that where they invest their money is a place where the residents subscribe to law and order. In that context…the Jamaican state is doing everything, at all levels, to ensure that we respond and treat with it effectively,” he said.
Although lottery and other advance fee fraud operations are not specific to Jamaica, according to Brown, they are affecting the country.
“That goes to the heart of the image that we want to project on the international arena, which is the image of a country where its citizens are law-abiding and where we are guided and governed by international norms, and where we subscribe to these international norms,” he explained.
“Therefore, Jamaica must be positioned, in the global context, as a state that is doing everything in its power to stamp out transnational crime and transnational criminal activity, including advanced fee fraud.”
To tackle these criminal acts, the country plans on introducing laws such as the Proceeds of Crimes Act (POCA) and Regulations, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Furthermore, existing legislation will also be extended to cover such crimes.
Brown emphasized the fact that local authorities were actively collaborating with international law enforcement agencies such as the Interpol against those schemes.
Furthermore, Jamaica is already part of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force – an organization which focuses its efforts on tackling money laundering and other illegal activities.