A joint operation conducted between May 10 and May 18, led to the apprehension and charging of three individuals suspected of involvement in lottery scams in Hanover and Westmoreland.
Acting on intelligence provided by the Financial Investigations Division (FID), multiple targets were arrested by a collaboration of law enforcement agencies, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Area 1 Operational Support Team, the Westmoreland Police, the JCF’s Counter Terrorism & Organized Crime Investigations Branch (CTOC), the Major Organised Crime and Anticorruption Agency (MOCA), and with support from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Fusion Centre.
The successful operations resulted in the seizure of more than US$10,000 in cash, a 2014 Toyota Mark X, and various lottery scamming paraphernalia, including cellular phones, US-based bank cards, a laptop computer, and an assortment of financial documents.
The individuals arrested and charged are as follows:
- Shannon Taylor-Christie, a 37-year-old bar operator residing in Flamstead/Kingsvale, Hanover.
- Deck Evans, a 31-year-old party promoter from Whitehall District, Westmoreland.
- Shane Blagrove, also known as “Big Meech,” a 29-year-old unemployed man from Prospect District in Green Island, Hanover.
Deck Evans and Shane Blagrove were charged with violations of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provision) Act. Shannon Taylor-Christie, on the other hand, was charged with violations of the Larceny Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Shane Blagrove is scheduled to appear in the Hanover Parish Court on June 2, 2023. Meanwhile, Deck Evans and Shannon Taylor-Christie are expected to appear in the Westmoreland Parish Court on June 6, 2023.
Keith Darien, the FID’s Principal Director of Investigations, expressed his satisfaction with the arrests, stating, “The persons apprehended are believed to be directly involved in defrauding elderly United States nationals of over US$100,000. Their arrest is a demonstration of the effectiveness of cross-border and local collaboration, which has been strategically strengthened and refocused over recent years.”
Darien emphasized the commitment to bringing financial criminals to justice, regardless of their location, by leveraging mutual legal assistance treaties. He urged Jamaicans to channel their talents and creativity into legitimate endeavors instead of resorting to criminal activities.
The successful operation serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts to combat lottery scams and protect vulnerable individuals from falling victim to fraud. The Jamaican authorities remain dedicated to working closely with international partners to ensure the perpetrators of financial crimes face justice and have their ill-gotten gains seized.
The investigation into lottery scams and related criminal activities continues as authorities strive to safeguard the integrity of the financial system and foster a secure environment for individuals and businesses in Jamaica and abroad.