US ambassador warns crime could cripple investments


US Ambassador to Jamaica Luis G Moreno has warned that criminal activities including lottery scamming, will negatively impact local and foreign investments in the island.

“We have to be realistic; we have to know that without a safe, stable and secure environment, we are going to have trouble getting even more investments, so we have to not ignore security,” Moreno told the gathering at the opening of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Expo 2015 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James on Friday night.

“Crime, especially violent crime is a deterrent to both local and foreign investments and for this reason, the US/ Jamaica partnership in law enforcement is vitally important to sustain growth and prosperity in Montego Bay and across Jamaica.”

To make successful headway with investment programmes and to expand the economy, he stressed, criminal activities must be rejected.

“We should not forget that this kind of activity produces violence and we are seeing, unfortunately sadly, some of that,” he emphasised, adding that “we should not forget that any kind of crime…not only is it just plain wrong, it’s a huge financial burden on the Jamaican economy.”

Arguing that lottery scamming is something that is doing tremendous damage to both Jamaica and the US, he said, “we have to start with our children”.

“Being a lottery scammer is not cool, it’s not Robin Hood, it’s not stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. The people who are being victimised by lottery scamming here in Jamaica and the US, are the most vulnerable of our society; they are older people, they are people living on pensions, they are sick people, people who are suffering from diminished capacity, and they are talking advantaged of by these people. And this is not right, so we have to teach our people that it is not right,” the US Ambassador urged.

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