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  • Cops say Ski Mask gang members behind more than 20 murders

    Police high command is reporting that members of the Ski Mask gang are responsible for over 20 murders and shootings of residents including women and children in and around the parish of St James.

    Police said, for several years, the gang members have been wreaking havoc in the parish and have forced scores of residents to flee their communities by firebombing their homes and sexually assaulting women and children.

    Six members from the gang including the leader were shot dead after they engaged police and members of the military in a shootout on Saturday, January 14.

    Reports are that on the mentioned date, the driver of a white Toyota Corolla motorcar was signaled to stop. The driver complied and, immediately following, several armed men exited the vehicle, firing at the security team. The lawmen responded; during the confrontation, the six men were fatally shot and one police officer injured.

    The men have been identified as: Leader of the Gang; Oswyn Jarret o/c ‘Ski-Mask'; Dino Pryce o/c 'Buju'; Marlon Samuels o/c ‘Brutus', and Andre Daley o/c 'Pops'. The other two men have been identified by their aliases‎ ‘Fargo' and 'Shenkay'.

    Police said a Ruger P89 9mm pistol, a Mini-Thunder 9mm pistol, a single action Browning Pistol, and a HS 9mm pistol. A number of magazines and a quantity of ammunition were also seized.

    The JCF in a release after the incident said it takes no pleasure in the loss of life, and regrets that these six young men were fatally shot.

    The police high command however stated that in carrying out their lawful duties to protect the citizens of Jamaica, the security forces are required to stand their ground and defend themselves in the face of criminal attacks. 

    “The JCF is committed to the apprehension and prosecution of criminal suspects – allowing them to go before a court of law to answer for their acts of criminality. In fact, in 2016 1,436 persons were arrested for breaches of the Firearms Act – 854 for the illegal possession of firearms and 582 for the illegal possession of ammunition,” the release stated. 

    Police said the incident in St. Andrew on Saturday January 14 strongly underscores this intent of the police. Three armed robbers who invaded a home were successfully apprehended without the use of Force, and will now face the courts for their action.

    Had the deceased peacefully surrendered, they would have been arrested, taken into custody, and charged with the illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. Regrettably, they chose to violently confront the security forces, the JCF release stated.

    “There is an increasing pattern of violent attacks on the police and military by criminal suspects who, on many occasions, have eluded capture. Unfortunately, on this occasion, those who were emboldened by these previous instances, confronted the security forces and met their demise,” the release outlined.

    The release went further to state that while some citizens may feel a sense of relief that these gang members will no longer launch criminal violence on their community, this incident should be a point of reflection for all of us. Many of us have questions to answer for our roles as parents and caregivers in how we treat with our young people, young men in particular

    “We urge you to seriously think on the vicious violence youths are unleashing on the very communities from which they hail. These individuals are your kin – brothers, sons, grandsons, nephews, cousins. It is past time to accept our collective responsibility and begin to address the cycle of violence that characterize our communities and families.”




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  • Give sex workers legal status - Advocate says laws against practice are outdated

    The Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), a non-governmental, human rights organisation, said it is working assiduously to have sex work decriminalised in Jamaica, so that the practitioners can operate safely.

    Patrick Lalor, who is JASL's Policy and Advocacy officer, told THE STAR that the ultimate aim is to have the sex trade fully legalised, but they will settle for decriminalisation for now.

    "Our advocacy work includes trying to get rid of any punitive laws that we find makes things more challenging for our population and exposes them to Human Immunodeficiency Virus," Lalor said.


    Medical attention


    Currently, there are 5,000 members in the Sex Workers Association, but Lalor noted that this is only 10 per cent of the total number of sex workers islandwide.

    Lalor argued that the stigma and discrimination attached to sex work deters the practitioners from seeking medical attention, as well as legal redress when they are abused.

    He added that they are sometimes forced at knife point to have unprotected sex with clients, and contract sexual infections in the process, but are afraid to seek medical attention because of the discrimination they face.

    Lalor further added that the laws which make prostitution illegal are archaic and do not reflect current realities.


    Made submissions


    JASAL has taken several steps to decriminalise sex work. In 2014, they were part of a group which made submissions to Parliament when the Sexual Offences Act was being reviewed by a committee. However, the process was halted with the change of Government.

    Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck refused to comment on the issue of decriminalising sex work in Jamaica, but he noted that Parliament has selected a new committee to review the Sexual Offences Act, and they will be meeting some time this week.

    To those who oppose the decriminalisation of sex work, such as the church, Lalor said, "Many of the husbands of the wives in church do business there, and what we are promoting is to ensure that their people can carry out their activities in a safe, healthy way, so that these husbands don't take back any STIs to the wives."


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  • Barrett Town is a happy place once more” – Police praised for death of Mobay 6! [GRUESOME IMAGES]

    BARRETT TOWN IS A HAPPY PLACE ONCE MORE”  Sentiments relayed to Downayaad by a resident from that community.

    Was informed of the havoc these men supposedly wreaked upon the community while alive. She shared allegations of extortion… If these moneys were not paid then their victims would be punished…was told that a victim was murdered and her house burnt to ground after refusing to pay the notorious ski mask gang money…the entire community apparently lived in fear on a daily basis .. too afraid to leave their homes … Resident speculating that the 6 were on their way to rob a Pastor when they were surprised by Police. Many in the community have praised the vigilance of local Police and are happy that these men are no longer alive to torment the peace and safety of Barrett Town’s residents. All 6 men of the Ski Mask gang were shot and killed on Saturday night.


                        VIEW IMAGES BELOW

                         CLICK HERE FOR IMAGES

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  • Teen shot dead in Hanover

    HANOVER, Jamaica — A teenager was shot dead Sunday night in the quiet community of Claremont in Hanover.

    The deceased has been identified as 18 year-old Royan Gowan of the same community.

    Residents reportedly heard several loud explosions about 10:00 pm and called the police.

    The police upon arrival found Gowan suffering from what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the head and other parts of the body.

    He was taken to the Noel Holmes Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    One resident told OBSERVER ONLINE, that the community has been left traumatised.

    Deputy Superintendent of Police in charge of the Hanover Police Division, Arthel Colley said the police are yet to make a breakthrough in this case.

    He also disclosed that the police have not made any headway in the case surrounding the abduction of 30-year-old Tasha Gordon of a Cauldwell address also in Hanover. 

    Gordon was kidnapped about 8:30 pm last Monday, shortly after businessman Marvin McIntosh, 36, was gunned down at his shop in prospect.

    Residents and the police have been searching the area since, but to no avail. However, the police found nine thousand dollars and a pair of slippers belonging to the woman shortly after her abduction.

    The police had also intensified their search with the use of canine dogs.

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  • JUST IN: Police kill six in St James

    Six unidentified men were killed during an alleged shootout with members of the security forces in St James on Saturday night.

    Reports are that the security forces intercepted men traveling in two motorcars in the Goodwill community about 7:30 pm.

    A firefight ensued and six men, five from one car and one from the other vehicle were shot and injured. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

    The security forces are said to have recovered illegal firearms after the shooting died down.

    The Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) has commenced their investigation.


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