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  • Big bucks for fake rum

    Several persons in Kingston are cashing in on their fake alcohol business. So good is the market, that Jason Smith* has hired an assistant to deliver the products to his customers in other sections of the Corporate Area.

    "Me make me own ting. It sell more than hot bread and the rum head dem love it cuz mine little stronger," he said.

    Smith said his suppliers include numerous bar operators and liquor stores.

    "The bar owners dem give me back the bottles when dem finish and me just full it up and sell them back for $1,000 a bottle. Normally, them would spend $1,700. If is a case dem a buy like the liquor store dem, me sell dem at $800 a bottle," he said.

    Although he was tight-lipped about the ingredients he uses, he stated that the components are similar to those of 'regular' rum.

    "The only difference is that I mix up mine in a drum in a my living room, and the company dem use the sophisticated machine dem. Nuff time me see people bun me out and say dem nah buy from me, but go buy the same ting from a wholesale that me supply," he said.

    On a good week, Smith says he easily makes $70,000 after paying his assistant $10,000 for his services.

    "To me, it's a honest bread because me nah tief nobody and me have a little daughter. Me a go wah move out a me board house and build a concrete and me plan to use this business and do it. Me buy a little bike but me wah upgrade and buy a car, cuz me wah can carry out me family and no worry bout rain," he said.

     

    NOT BOTHERED

    A few houses away, Smith's longtime friend James Brown* is busy filling bottles. He told The STAR that he has his own version of top shelf liquor but the demand for that is low.

    "A regular man nah go buy that a bar. People more buy special a bar, so that's why we do this. There is a market in it for everyone so me and my brethren never have the same customer dem. Jamaicans love party bad so dem log on to it," he said.

    Both 'rum' vendors said they are aware that they could be prosecuted if they are caught selling the self-made products, but said they are not bothered or fearful.

    "Life is a gamble, enuh. You just have to do you ting. Police buy from me too but just in case a no any a my police brethren dem run in, me just either go pay dem off or do the time," Smith said.

    On Saturday, the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime (CTOC) investigation branch charged two men after they were found selling fake liquor to wholesalers in St Ann. Nineteen cases were seized, valuing approximately $380,000. Attempts to reach CTOC yesterday proved futile.

    *Names changed

     

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  • Popular entertainer Capleton charged for rape

    Capleton

    Detectives assigned to the Centre for Investigation Sexual Offence and Child Abuse (CISOCA) have arrested and charged popular entertainer Clifton Bailey, otherwise called ‘Capleton’, for rape.

    The charges were laid against the 51-year-old entertainer on Friday.

    Reports from the police are that on Saturday, April 28 at about 11:20 a.m., Bailey reportedly hired a female hairdresser to groom his hair at a hotel in the New Kingston area. While at the hotel, it is reported that he forcibly had sexual intercourse with the female.

    The matter was reported to the police and an investigation launched. Bailey was subsequently charged after a question and answer interview was conducted in the presence of his attorney.

    He is to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Monday, May 14.

    Since the incident, the attorney representing the International reggae artiste has refuted the claims and accused the female of trying to extort his client.

    "I am confident that my client will be exonerated," Christopher Townsend told Loop reporter Claude Mills.

    The attorney said there is a dual investigation being conducted by the police force "because the young lady who made the report is also being investigated for extortion".

    "If the justice system works how it ought to work, then he ought to be freed. I do believe that all of Jamaica should be concerned; justice is in jeopardy. It shows that there is a lack of control, and a clear fault in the decision-making process... one arm of the force is doing something and another arm is doing something. It's the same issue, it is clear to everyone that you must combine the two, but everyone is afraid to make the decision,” Townsend said.

    "He is relying on the system to work; it has failed him so far. Although the police have the authority to grant station bail - and it is not unusual in circumstances like this, it has not been done. Once again, it is a failed decision; people are afraid of their shadows," said the attorney.

    Reports from the artiste's management team are that he made a report to a constable on May 2 that a woman had been attempting to extort money from him after a sexual encounter days earlier.

    Allegations are that after the sexual encounter, the woman allegedly complained that she had a cyst on her ovary and had been admitted to the hospital for treatment, and according to Capleton's management, that was a lie.

    The management team claimed that the alleged victim then sent one of her daughters, a 19-year-old, to pick up "snacks" from the deejay, but the demands did not subside.

    Members of the management camp claimed Capleton refused to co-operate once the woman demanded a large sum of money to allow her to be a part of a 'round-robin'.

    A 'round-robin' is a financial partnership where an event is held at strict intervals, and where the group of people in the said consortium or partnership are expected to contribute and attend.

    Sources from the management team of the entertainer said police, both at the Half-Way Tree CIB and officials from CISOCA, are in possession of text messages and conversations relating to the matter.

     

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  • Attorney Jennifer Messado in custody in connection with fraud probe

    A screenshot from a video with attorney Jennifer Messado (centre foreground) on a visit to a property in St Andrew, reportedly the one relative to an ongoing police investigation.

    The police have confirmed that attorney-at law Jennifer Messado is now in custody in connection with a fraud-related investigation.

    Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey, who heads the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC), told Loop News that Messado was taken into custody on Friday in connection the investigation.

    “She is in custody. It is in relation to an investigation of the fraudulent attempt at the sale of a property on Waterloo Road (in St Andrew),” said Bailey.

    He said the attorney is presently being questioned by investigators, and declined to comment on whether or not she would remain in custody over the weekend.

     

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  • I want back Gully Bop' - Amari vows to fight for ex-lover

    Although she throws 'shade' at Gully Bop in her latest single, 'Where is Bop?', social media blogger Amari says the entertainer is still the love of her life.

    "We were musical partners. [He was] my fiancÈ and the person who truly discovered me. He was my soulmate, and I need him back in my life. If it doesn't happen in this life, when we die, I hope we will reconcile," she said.

    In the song Where is Bop?, she takes jabs at her former lover, leaving many critics saying that her obsession for the entertainer is never-ending.

    In addition to alleging in the song that Gully Bop "eats meat", Amari raps that he still lives in his car and still has no teeth.

    In an interview with THE STAR in January, Bop admitted to sleeping in his vehicle but insisted he is neither poor nor homeless.

    Amari said that in addition to Where is Bop? being a mainstream hit, she believes it will "definitely be a comeback for Gully Bop".

    "It is all entertainment. Despite all the realistic statements I made in the song, I did mention that Bop is still a superstar," she said.

     

    LYRICS CHANGED

     

    She said that the song was originally written to speak about her love for Bop, but she decided to adjust the lyrics after hearing the comments he had made about her in a now deleted Facebook Live video.

    In late 2014, a homeless Gully Bop rose to fame after a video of him freestyling went viral. By 2015, Gully Bop had secured work permits for the United States, the United Kingdom and several Caribbean islands. He then proved to be quite the ladies' man, having then 25-year-old Shauna Chin on his arm. Then came Amari, Olive, and recently, Deborrah Nicholson. But according to Amari, Gully Bop will never be happy with anyone except her.

    "They only know of the artiste, but they never took the time out to know Mr Robert Lee Malcolm. He is an articulate person. I am the only one who knows of his pain. I was his therapist, and I spent time listening to him and allowing him to cry and let out his frustrations," she said.

    As it relates to his new 'wife', Amari thinks it's all fake.

    "The media always run with it, from the fake 50 Cent deal to the newborn baby. He needs to come up with some new lyrics to stay relevant. I don't think they are married. I believe he is single, and I don't think she can attribute anything to his life on a professional level. He needs a strong woman. My engagement to him was real," she said.

    Amari said she will continue to fight for Bop and has even started the #WhereisBop hashtag.

    "My fans are loyal, so they keep me up with his every move, but I have to be cautious because it will seem as if I am really a crazy woman stalking this man. But I imagine being onstage and singing Where is Bop?, and out of nowhere, Bop comes on stage. I wish a promoter could set up something like that," she said.

     

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  • Vybz Kartel transferred to St Catherine prison - source

    Image result for VYBZ KARTEL COURT

    Incarcerated dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel has been transferred to the St Catherine District prison, a move that has captured the interest of the prison population.

    “The deejay just arrive today about 3 or so, Kahiro (Kahiro Jones, Vybz Kartel's co-accused) get transfer to GP and Ninjaman gone a Horizon,” a reliable source told Loop Jamaica reporter Claude Mills.

    Tom Tavares Finson could not confirm if Kartel had been transferred to St Catherine District prison and expressed genuine surprise.

    He however pointed to Kartel’s upcoming appeal on July 7th and expressed optimism about the deejay’s chanced to have the conviction quashed.

    “I believe that we have an excellent chance to overturn the conviction, we shall see on July 7th,” he said.

    Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, along with three co-accused, including Kahiro Jones, were convicted of the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

    They are all now serving life sentences as a result of the conviction.

     

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