The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom is reporting that the lottery scam is estimated to be contributing $1-billion per year to Jamaica’s informal economy.

The newspaper says the lottery scam has overtaken the drugs trade in terms of illegal contributions to Jamaica’s economy.

According to the Guardian, the scam is estimated to involve at least 30,000 people.

It says a major problem for law enforcement is the perception that scamming is a non-violent, even victimless, crime.

It notes that in 2012 popular incarcerated dancehall entertainer, Vybz Kartel, released a track called ‘Reparation’ that argued that lottery scamming is a form of payback for British colonial rule.

According to the Guardian, the scam’s vast profits have fueled violence in Jamaica, contributing to up to 50-percent of murders in the western section of the island.

It notes that last week Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, signed extradition orders for eight Jamaicans who’re wanted in the US for their alleged involvement in the lottery scam.

Minister Chuck last week told our news centre that his decision to promptly sign the extradition orders is intended to send a strong signal.

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