KINGSTON, Jamaica, Aug16, CMC – Western Union International on Thursday reopened three of its branches in the western parish of St James, one week after it closed all branches to conduct a “systems review” to counter the multi-million dollar lottery scam.
GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS), which holds the Western Union franchise for the Caribbean has now set a limit of US$400 on transfers.
In a statement issued through GKMS, Company spokesperson, Daniel Diaz said Jamaica is an important market to Western Union .
“The company will strive to reopen additional locations in the impacted region,” the statement said.
Additionally, the company said it has implemented several measures to aid in reducing the inconvenience faced by its customers with free shuttle services between St James and neighbouring parishes.
“As a leader in global payment services, Western Union is dedicated to providing consumers fast, reliable and convenient money transfer services around the world. Our reputation, our brand, and the trust of our stakeholders are irreplaceable assets,” the company said.
Jamaica has been placed in the international spotlight after criminals utilise the service to lure United States citizens to send money. Thousands of people have fallen prey to the illegal scam.
Law enforcement authorities have linked more than 600 murders to lottery scamming over the past five years.
The recent closure of Western Union outlets in St James had resulted in customers travelling to locations in the neighbouring parishes of Trelawny and Hanover to receive their remittances.
Police Commissioner Owen Ellington and former president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Joseph M. Matalon, have blamed the illegal lottery scam for not only tarnishing Jamaica’s image, but threatening the fledging call centre industry which was being undermined by the perpetrators.