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American journalist and former CBS ’60 Minutes’ anchor, Dan Rather was in Montego Bay, St James this week to film a documentary on the infamous lottery scam. The programme is slated to be aired on US cable channel AXS TV in March.
Rather, who is now managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine, ‘Dan Rather Reports’, arrived on the island on Monday. He was scheduled to depart yesterday afternoon, leaving his camera crew behind to complete filming. On his website, Rather announced he was filming in Jamaica: “I’m in Jamaica on a reporting trip. I’ve been here several times before, but it’s the first time in a while. Makes me think back to a report I did a while ago on “Rastafarians” for 60 Minutes. That old story somehow has become fairly popular on the Internet I’m told.” The National Security Minister Peter Bunting says the reason for Rather’s visit this time is cause for concern. “He and his 16-member camera crew did not come here and ask to see some of the nice resort areas, such as Doctor’s Cave Beach, etcetera, they wanted to see some of the areas where the scamming goes on and the truth is we can’t stop them from coming,” Bunting told members of the St James Police Civic Committee during a meeting at the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay Thursday evening. In fact, the US crew is being escorted by Senior Superintendent of Police Andrew Lewis, and has visited residential areas such as Ironshore, Rhyne Park, Granville, Rose Heights and Coral Gardens, where scammers are believed to own a number of homes. “They were also shown the number of vehicles that have been seized by us,” SSP Lewis confirmed. Not totally disheartened by the effects the documentary could have on the country, Bunting said during his interview with Rather, he tried to present a balance that not all Jamaicans are con artists. “The police and the government are not equivocating about this issue but we are doing everything possible to eliminate the scourge,” Bunting said he told Rather. He said he and his team were able to demonstrate what has been done operationally. “We have put the task of dealing with the lotto scam with our most elite police investigative unit, the Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Taskforce,” Bunting said. This taskforce, he reiterated was a well-resourced unit led by one of the country’s most experienced senior officers. “The second thing we are able to demonstrate is that we were active legislatively. We passed the Evidence Measures Act in December 2012, which will hopefully encourage victims to come forward to be witnesses to these crimes and they don’t have to worry about travelling all the way to Jamaica because under this Evidence Measures Act they will be able to give evidence in court using an audio/video link – a live feed which they will do remotely.

He explained that the difficulty in the past was to get an elderly victim to travel great distances to come and give evidence at a court in Montego Bay. He also said during the interview, he was able to demonstrate that Jamaica has a new piece of legislation, specifically to deal with advance fee fraud and lottery scam related issues. “This will allow the police much greater latitude,” Bunting asserted. The new legislation dictates that where the police find someone in possession of lead list with hundreds or thousands of names of potential victims fitting a certain profile; and are in possession of a magic jack on a computer, or loads of cash that they can’t explain, the court will be able to draw an inference that these things were being used in furtherance of scamming or such activities. According to Bunting, estimates from the police revealed that in 2012, between 40 and 50 percent of violent crimes in St James were connected in one way or another to lottery scamming. “We have to rubbish this idea that this is a victimless crime,” Bunting said. “It is one of the most cruel crimes you can commit because the victim is from the most vulnerable group.” The target age group for the scammers is between 75 and 94, said the national security minister.


  • brown says:

    met this is off the topic but pay a visit to youtube and look for jamaica er i just stumble up on it and believe mi that wouldnt even mek mi send mi dog go kph

  • Dan Rather brave bad. Him all a go inna d scammers area fi get him story. Cann wait fi watch it

  • Why are they there? Jamaica need to keep them out, I remember few years ago when Ivan, reporters from all over the world wanted to go into Cayman and they were sent back, people who were travelling home to Jamaica had to give up their films or whatever device they had with hurricane footage. The government need to keep them out, this is going to hurt Jamaica n make things worse than they already are.

    I am not saying scamming is good. Honestly, I dont give a hoot about this scamming thing. These people KNOW they didnt enter anything to win money so why do they want t collect winnings? They are just as bad as the scammers in my opinion,

  • G says:

    @ms itzy bitzy your so right you cannot scam an honest person

  • Damion says:

    Ms Itzy Bitzy, I agree with you 100%. I remember when I was in Trinidad, a fellow postgrad student wanted to conduct an interview with me on bleaching in Jamaica. I immediately decline the offer. I suggested to her that whenever she is ready to do something on Jamaica, I will be ready and waiting for that interview. I do not condone the wrong-doings that certain folks in Jamaica are into but at the same time I will never sell out Jamaica to some foreigners. Remember, most foreigners will never sell out their country. For Jamaica to move forward, we as Jamaicans have to truly love and respect Jamaica.

  • Damion says:

    *something positive…

  • Hotstepper....formerly peeper says:

    unfortunately older people are more vulnerable to things like this, and I do feel bad for them…I welcome the news team going to Jamaica and exposing dem claat…same how me want news team to go to other countries and expose dem why not expose the Jamaicans…the worst part is when dem call u yard dem all a threaten u…and me know dis from experience….cause u did have some a terrorize mi mumma

  • Anonymous says:

    @Bitzy i also agree with u 100% thats so true jamaica should not let them come in

  • Hotstepper u can gwaan chat shit, a nuff time dem call mi n mi HANG up mi damn phone, mi neva enter ntn therefore mi cyaa win. the scammees jus as bad as the scammers

  • denies says:

    I can shed some light. Obviously these people knew they did not enter any lottery but one method the scammers use is to tell the “victims” that when they used their credit card they were automatically entered and since the scammers have the credit card information it makes the “victims” think its legit otherwise how would they know my name and address and have all my info it wasnt true.

    And if you are going to win millions of dollars what is $5000 to send to the scammers for taxes so this is why it has been so successful for years

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