(Jamaica Gleaner) Money laundering charges have been levelled against a 29-year-old Montego Bay, St James, man held during an international police operation two weeks ago targeting persons involved in the lottery scam.
Shawn Lawrence, the operator of an auto parts business in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, has been tagged as one of the masterminds behind the illicit practice that cons victims into sending monies to claim jackpots.
Detectives attached to the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) are tight-lipped about the value of Lawrence’s assets, but The Gleaner understands that he has an extensive real estate portfolio that consists of properties in Bogue Village and Ironshore, St James, as well as Richmond Estate in St Ann.
Lawrence, a past student of Herbert Morrison Technical High School, was arrested on September 20 at his multimillion-dollar home in Bogue Village, Montego Bay, during an early-morning raid.
Thirteen other persons, nine of whom have since been released, were also detained at separate locations across St James. The raid in Montego Bay formed part of a months-long investigation between United States (US) authorities and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The Gleaner was told that it was “too early to say” if Lawrence would be extradited to the US to answer charges there. Several items were also seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and among them is a $70-million commercial property, a residential property valued at $110 million as well as four motor cars, including a 2012 Mercedes-Benz.
Several computers, call lists, and other equipment believed to be used in the lottery scam, were also seized. Four persons – Colleen Dennis, Sylvester Craig, Sashana Reid and Shanique Peart – have been charged for possession of hash oil.