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Holness slams crime plan

KINGSTON — Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has questioned the Government’s motives in light of what he says has been its failure to adequately deal with crime, including the “destructive” lotto scam.

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness

“One has to wonder if there is some kind of special interest or connection, why the Government doesn’t move with speed and alacrity to put in place legislation to help the police to fight the lottery scam, one has to wonder,” Holness told Jamaica Labour Party delegates and party workers.

Pointing out that scammers habitually use stolen data from the ICT sector to “con” people overseas, Holness said that the practice was destroying “business opportunities that could be possible for Jamaica in the sector,” because many potential investors were staying away from Jamaica “with a long stick”.

Noting that the ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) sector “can carry the jobs that we so badly need”, Holness said: “We don’t see the Government moving with speed and alacrity to address this issue.”

National security minister Peter Bunting was recently reported by the government’s information arm, the Jamaica Information Service, as saying the administration is planning to amend the Evidence Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act and the Larceny Act, as part of a drive to strengthen legislation to combat lotto scamming. Bunting reportedly said that the Government also wants to enact an Advanced Free Fraud Act which would make it an offence to possess certain “paraphernalia” associated with scamming.

Holness, who has been touring the country, meeting and greeting delegates ahead of the JLP’s upcoming annual conference on November 18, a delegates-only confab, also questioned the Portia Simpson Miller-led government’s commitment to arresting traditional forms of crime and the perceived surge in criminal activity in farming communities. (Observer)

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