Was lottery scam to blame for murder of girl, 8, in Jamaica?

Jan 14, 2013

Imani Green's death may be linked to 'perennial lottery scam' says Jamaica's security minister

IMANI GREEN, the eight-year-old London girl murdered in Jamaica, is thought likely to have been gunned down in a revenge attack over a lottery scam, the country's security minister has said.

Peter Bunting said Imani could be one of hundreds killed due to a dispute over the "perennial lottery scam," according to The Gleaner.

Imani suffers from sickle cell anaemia and was staying with family on the Caribbean island so that she could take advantage of the warm weather. She was due back at the Fircroft Primary School in Tooting on 28 January.

She was shot twice by a hood-clad lone gunman on Friday evening as she stood outside her cousin's shop in Duncans, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica. Her grandmother Sandra Fisher said she was found in a "pool of blood" after the shooting, in which three other members of her family were also injured.

Lottery scams are thought to be responsible for as many as 500 murders over the past five years and for half the gun crime in the area, according to the Daily Mail. The scam involves phoning people in America and making them believe they have won a lottery. They are then tricked into giving advanced payments before receiving their winnings.

The Jamaican Observer says more than 30,000 calls are made from the country about such hoaxes every day. The Mail says as much as £30m was received in Jamaica last year alone.

Deputy Supt Steve Brown, from Jamaica's police force, told the BBC that police had a number of leads about the murder. "We are confident we will make a breakthrough very, very soon," he said.

Brown wasn't convinced by the gang warfare theory. "We find it a bit difficult to believe because where the incident took place it is a sleepy community, nothing happens there." He felt it more likely to be "an isolated incident".

Sign up for our daily newsletter