Extortion racket war surges in Spanish Town
Armed thugs linked to the One Order and Clansman gangs are once again jostling for control over the lucrative extortion racket in the bus park and surrounding businesses in Spanish Town, leading to a flareup of violence in the capital that has claimed five lives in the past week.
Over the weekend, there was a double murder in Quarry Hill, across from Lime Tree Grove, where an unidentified male and a 23 year-old male identified as Ceon Parks were killed by persons unknown. The Constabulary Communication Unit confirmed the shootings.
"The individuals were found with gunshots in a lane in the community. The incident happened at about 8:35 pm on Friday, both deaths are related, but happened only minutes apart," a representative told Loop News.
A police source told Loop News that there may be new highly motivated players in the extortion racket.
"The uptick in violence comes from new persons competing for control of the bus park, and the extortion business in the area, it is Clansman against Clansman and the One Order gang is involved as well," the source said.
Last week Monday, there was a 'high-noon' murder when a 28 year-old man, Kevon Lewis of Dela Vega City, was shot and killed by unknown assailants.
Reports from the Spanish Town police are that about 11:55am, Lewis was standing at the roadway when he was approached by armed men. They opened gunfire to Lewis' upper body, and the police were summoned, and Lewis was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Lewis was reportedly involved in various roles in the transport industry in the town.
On Tuesday, another man was killed as armed gangs invaded the town in the morning. There was then a lull in the violence until three more were killed over the weekend.
According to the police, members of the notorious Clansman Gang in Spanish Town, St Catherine, have been raking in $1.8 million weekly from extorting mainly business owners and transport operators. This remarkable disclosure was made earlier this year at a press conference called by the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Head of C-TOC, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Fitz Bailey told members of the media at C-TOC's Orange Street offices that the men, based on calculations, are collecting $85 million annually.
“This is from loader fees, bus drivers, taxi drivers, other businesses, and protection, among other things. They are required to pay extortion fees,” ACP Bailey explained when asked to give a breakdown of the weekly figure.