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  • Contracted Killers In Jamaica Making 1 Million Just Under 20 Minutes

    The police are taking steps to increase their rate of arrest of persons who are paying gunmen to carry out killings for them.

    Reports on the streets are that 'killers for hire' are now making big money across the island, despite some taking a low of $50,000 to murder their victims.

    Head of Homicide in the Major Investigation Division, Senior Superintendent Cleon March, in an interview with The Gleaner mentioned that this is a business the cops are doing their best to curtail.

    "I think it is something that we need to be conscious about, be more aware and to take steps to mitigate these types of things. But we are aware of the problem and we have already done some work. I mean, it's a part of our everyday reality," said March, who did not say how many of the more than 200 murders recorded so far this year were believed to be contract killings.

     
    • VARIOUS PRICES

    He confirmed that the contract killers are charging varying prices, depending on their targets and how desperate they are for the cash.

    "You know how the streets run, there's no set charge. Depending on what the contractor's opinion of the actual shooter is.

    You have some shooters, because of their own financial background, are on the lower end of the spectrum so they will be quicker to accept a payment that could be deemed to be low, while you have some who are professionals and make a killing by doing this kind of thing, so their fees would be far more exorbitant.

    "There is no set fee but it ranges from $50,000 up to $1 million, or more in some cases," said March.

    • MOTIVATED BY MONEY

    "So far the police have found that men are more likely to seek the service of contract killers, and this is not limited to any part of the island."

    "Quite a number of our murders happen in that vein right across the island, Spanish Town, Clarendon, St James, you name it, there are quite a few of our murders that are actually committed by persons who are totally detached from the issue, but they are contracted and motivated by money to go out and carry out these heinous acts for the purpose of reward," said March.

    In recent months, police investigators have theorised that contract killers were involved in the murder of father and son Dennis and Richard Ramdial, in separate incidents.

    • COLLYMORES'

    Two suspected hired guns have also been arrested in connection with the recent killing of 32-year-old Simone Campbell-Collymore and 36-year-old taxi operator Winston Watson in St Andrew.

    Collymore's husband, Omar, is accused of masterminding those murders and was recently arrested and charged. Law-enforcement sources have claimed that $500,000 was paid for the killing of Mrs Collymore, with the taxi operator being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The arrest of Mr Collymore is one of the few cases where the person who it is believed paid for someone to be killed has been charged, and March admitted that the challenge the police are facing is that sometimes even after arresting the shooters it is hard to get to the actual person who wanted the crime done.

    According to March, in most cases the shooter and the actual client have not met, but an arrangement is made through a contact person.

    • EASY MONEY

    One man, who claims to be among the contact persons, last week stated that more and more criminals are getting involved in contract killings because it is an easier way to make money rather than stealing an item and waiting for a sale.

    "The easier way now is to do this. Twenty minutes and you have $1 million. It's a quick-cash way because once the job complete you wi nice," said the source.

    He said the killers charge based on who is paying and how much they are willing to spend.

    "Once you a mention 'bout killing people, it depends on how bruck the person is and if them no know money," said the source.

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  • Another 14-year-old girl viciously attacked, this time in Westmoreland

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    Another young girl is reported to have come under serious physical attack, in this case, in the parish of Westmoreland.

    The Negril police reported that on Friday night, 14-year-old Alkye Nicola Vaccianie, a student of a White Hall, Negril, Westmoreland address, was shot and injured by an unknown assailant.

    This was hours before the gruesome discovery of the reportedly partially-clad body of another 14-year-old girl with injuries to her face, in Brown’s Lane, Granville, St James on Saturday morning.

    The Negril incident occurred in White Hall district at about 8:15 p.m.

    Reports are that Alkye was sitting outside a shop, when an armed man approached her and open gunfire at her.

    She was hit in her right side, left side and left thigh.

    She was assisted to the Savanna-La-Mar Hospital, where she has been admitted.

    The Savanna-la-Mar Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) is investigating the incident

     

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  • Warning For Women! - Men Posing As Taxi Drivers On Rape Spree

    More than 50 females have been raped and robbed over the last two years by men posing as taxi operators, and the police are urging women and girls to be extremely cautious while taking public transportation.

    According Superintendent Charmine Shand, head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), all the women reported being blindfolded and raped before being taken to an ATM to withdraw money for their attackers, who then drop them off at strange locations.

    "We honestly believe that there is a group of men out there who are working together. It is the same modus operandi. It is the same thing that they do," said Shand.

    There were 27 such cases reported in 2016 and another 16 in 2017. Since the start of this year, CISOCA has received at least nine reports fitting the same pattern. Five of these rapes took place in St Catherine South, which covers Portmore, two were in the Corporate Area and another two in St James.

    Shand said in most of the cases, the fake taxi operators worked with other criminals posing as passengers. She said cars with red licence plates indicating that they are public passenger vehicles, and some with private plates have been used by the men, who are believed to be serial rapists.

    The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) last week released a sketch of one of these illegal taxi operators, who is wanted for abduction and rape in St James. He is said to frequent the Coral Gardens, Ironshore and Providence routes and is generally accompanied by either a male or a female.

    Shand noted that the abductions take place both at night and day and the victims' phones are always confiscated. Most of the victims are between the ages of 14 and 24.

    Several rape suspects, including two serial rapists, have been arrested in recent times.

    In one arrest in the Portmore area, the suspect is scheduled to appear on 15 identification parades based on the consistency in the details of victims' reports. In other cases in St Ann and St Mary, one person was arrested and charged with eight counts of sexual offences after he was pointed out on identification parades.

    Shand said that CISOCA intends to launch a public-education campaign in the coming weeks because of the frequency of the cases. She has urged members of the public, particularly females, to take precaution when using taxis.

     

    Tips For Women

     

    1. Travel with company as far as it is practicable and keep a close family member or friend up to date on your movements.

    2. Before boarding any taxi, or as soon as possible after, take a moment to note the registration number and share it with family or friends. Take photographs of the car and pass it on, if possible.

    3. Communicate your point and time of boarding and intended place of disembarking to family members or a close friend.

    4. If left alone in a taxi with a driver, notify a family member or a friend immediately.

    5. Scream to attract attention if there are any unwelcome sexual advances or attempt at abduction.

    6. Remember, you have the option of other means of transport.

    7. Download the Stay Alert App and keep handy the number for police emergency and Crime Stop.

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  • 16-Y-O Boy Robbed And Shot on Football Field in St Catherine

    A 16-year-old boy is now in hospital battling for life after he was attacked, robbed and then shot by criminals at a football field in St Catherine.

    Reports are that at about 2:45 p.m. on Friday the teen and his friends where at the field, close to March Pen Road, having a conversation when two men walked up to the group members.

    Eyewitness disclosed that one of the men had a machete and the other a firearm.

    Reports are that the group members were held up by the thugs and then robbed of their cellphones and other valuables.

     

    Still not satisfied, the thugs then opened fire at the victims before running from the area.

    A teen was later found suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to the Spanish Town Hospital where he has been admitted.

    Police from St Catherine North Division have since launched a search for the men who carried out the attack.

     

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  • Women And Children Used to Collect Extortion Money in Spanish Town

    The decades-old extortion racket in and around the Spanish Town bus park in St Catherine that has claimed countless lives, has taken on a new twist that is likely to have deadly consequences for women.

    According to a source with knowledge of the situation, with many of the men who previously collected money for the Clansman gang either being killed or imprisoned, with some fleeing the area, and with an increasing police presence in and around the bus park, women are being recruited to do the job.

    “Is so it go, straight,” a source who requested anonymity. He asserted that recent attacks on women, including shootings, were directly related to them being used as pawns in the deadly game.

    “The man dem a wise up and a tek wey dem self, so the leader dem can’t get nobody fi collect the money ... so dem a draw in the woman dem,” the source added. He explained that women draw less attention from the police.


    He revealed that in order to plug the gap, women and teenage boys are being used. As for the teenagers, they are also reportedly being used to commit murders while dressed in school uniform making it easy for them not to attract the attention of the police.

    “When you see them you don’t know if them is ‘schoolers’ or gunman,” our source said.

    And, a policeman attached to the Spanish Town police station stated that “a lot of youngsters who should be in school are being recruited by gang members. They are eager to please the dons so they don’t hesitate to kill.” The teenagers are also used as spotters to identify their rivals before calling in those tasked with carrying out the killings as soon as the police leave the area.

    The teenagers pose another problem for the police as they are said to be regular ‘bleachers’. “This minute the police dem a look fi a black youth so him just tek wey himself go cool out fi a while. When him come back him brown cause him go bleach,” our source explained.

    The khaki-wearing youngsters have been linked to several murders inside the bus park, the centre of the multi-million dollar extortion ring that primarily preys on taxi and bus operators.

    The Clansman gang is among the two main gangs based in Spanish Town - the other being the One Order gang. Together, they have been able to establish the elaborate racket that has turned the St Catherine capital into a haven for thugs who prey on informal sellers and formal businesses, extorting hard earned cash that the gangs then use to finance their criminal networks.

    Businesses in and around the town are not spared either but operators are too afraid to cooperate with the police.

    According to some operators, policemen are involved in the extortion racket.

    “Is nuff time di policeman dem go check the big man dem fi a money. Dem know wey di man dem live and dem know wey dem get dem money but dem nuh care cause dem corrupt. How yuh must carry information go give to police when is so dem operate?” our source said rhetorically.

     

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