The Hill - Ambassador: Jamaica agrees to extradite senior scammers after Senate probe
By Julian Pecquet - 04/24/13 05:03 PM ET
Jamaican authorities have agreed to extradite convicted scammers who prey on American seniors following a Senate probe, the U.S. ambassador to Kingston said.
The promise follows a hearing by the Senate's aging panel last month into scams that fool seniors into handing over money in exchange for a bigger pay-off in the form of fictitious lottery winnings. The scam has hit the home states of chairman Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine) particularly hard.
The Jamaican Senate passed legislation shortly after the hearing to prosecute the scammers, who fleece American seniors of an estimated $1 billion a year. The United States is Jamaica's biggest trade partner and its main source of tourists, making good relations between the two countries crucial.
Nelson said he talked to Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater on Wednesday, according to a statement from his office.
“If we can put somebody in handcuffs and extradite them to the U.S., it will have a chilling effect,” Nelson said he told Bridgewater during a 10-minute call. “Let’s go get these bad guys.”
Bridgewater answered that the embassy has received a “full commitment” from Jamaican authorities “and I am fully assured, once indicted, these criminals will head off to our shores.”