Thursday 21 February, 2019

Two more women raped; CISOCA steps up hunt for ‘robot’ taxi operators

Police have launched a manhunt for two illegal taxi operators who reportedly held up and raped two women on Friday, January 18 in bushes near Lakes Pen, St. Catherine.

Reports reaching Loop News are that the women boarded a taxi shortly after 9:00 p.m. near Cumberland in Portmore, St Catherine. The driver and another man were seen in the vehicle.

But, instead of taking the women to the bus park in Spanish Town as expected, the driver sped past the Morris Meadows housing scheme in Grange Lane and reportedly turned off into bushes in the vicinity of the overhead bridge near Lakes Pen.

According to Loop News sources, the women were repeatedly abused and raped by the two men. They were also robbed of their cell phones, cash and ATM cards.

The women were then left for dead at the location.

The victims, in their 20s and 30s, were reportedly rescued by correctional officers who were driving pass the area.

The women were taken to hospital for treatment. A report was also made to the Spanish Town police station and the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Following the attack the police have re-issued calls for females to only take legal taxis and to travel with persons who they know. Police sources said rapists either travel alone or as a pair.

In another development, CISOCA has listed taxi operator, 40-year-old Michael Swaby, otherwise called ‘Munchie’, of Kensington Road, Kingston 2, as a person of interest.

CISOCA (Swaby) last Wednesday issued a release calling on Swaby to make himself available to detectives. Investigators at the organization believe that Swaby may be able to assist them with ongoing investigations, but have been unsuccessful in their efforts to locate him.

Last Tuesday another rogue taxi operator was charged for rape in a separate investigation.

The man identified as Dwayne Edwards, resident of a Kingston 10 address, appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court last Tuesday. He was charged with the abduction and rape of a 21-year-old woman who reportedly boarded a taxi in downtown Kingston last September.

Edwards during his appearance in court was charged with abduction, rape and robbery, and was ordered remanded in custody by Parish Judge, Maxine Ellis.

The judge told the accused man’s attorney that she would not grant bail because of the seriousness of the allegations against him.

The allegations against Edwards are that on September 20 last year, a 21-year-old woman boarded a taxi in downtown Kingston for Papine in St Andrew.

Edwards, who was reportedly sitting in the back seat, supposedly as a passenger, allegedly pulled a knife and proceeded to rob the young woman.

Reports are that Edwards was working along with the driver of the taxi who detoured from the route to a location where the woman was blindfolded and repeatedly raped.

She was also robbed of her ATM card, cellular phone and a tablet computer. Reports are that the men reportedly withdrew money from the bank account of the victim before releasing her.



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