Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Kidnap Leader Captured in Trinidad

The following article appeared in the Trinidad Guardian this morning, and seems to reinforce the point I was making in the blog entry on Crime in the Caribbean. While this is good news, notice the emphasis at the end on "weeding out criminals."

In other words, there is the idea built in that in a nice garden of normal people, there is one aberrant person, and if only that person or small group of persons were to be weeded out, then things would return to the way we want them to be.

Here in Jamaica, the same logic prevails, as commentators and politicians talk over and over again about the 100 to 500 or so criminals that are creating 90% of the trouble, and if only we could "eradicate" then things would be the way we want them to be. Operation Kingfish in Jamaica, currently underway, is built on this premise.

To me, this is superficial and wishful thinking. In fact, the latest upsurge of crime in Jamaica is being blamed on the success of Operation Kingfish -- it is said that the success in arresting the drug gang leaders has led to a vacuum, into which smaller more desperate criminals have stepped in order to protect / extort / terrorize the communities they have left behind.

In other words, the conditions that created the problem have not changed, only a handful of players. Trinidadians seems to be making the same mistake we in Jamaica have made, in thinking that stopping kidnappings rests on aressting the few leaders.

I hope it works, but I suspect that it will take more than that. My earlier blog talks about the need to take personal responsibility, and I believe that that must happen to create an environment that is different from the one we currently have that breeds criminality. Here is the article from 10/24/05:

KIDNAP GANG LEADER HELD
BY DENYSE RENNE

Two men, one of whom is a former member of the Jamaat al Muslimeen, remain in police custody, after they were held during early-morning raids yesterday morning.

Investigators have described the arrest of one of them, a 39-year-old former Jamaat member, as a major breakthrough in several Central kidnappings.

Police say the man holds key information into many Central kidnappings and also the location of kidnap victims still being held.

The man was arrested at around 2 am at his Longdenville, Chaguanas, home, after a search warrant was executed.

Investigators said the man had been charged in the past for kidnappings, and had also been linked to several murders and other criminal activities.

A 36-year-old man, of Four Roads, Diego Martin, was also arrested in Enterprise in connection with several kidnappings.

Investigators said the men were among 50 people held by a contingent of police and soldiers, as they swooped down on areas in Enterprise, Longdenville and Cunupia late Saturday night into early yesterday.

The dragnet started at 10 pm on Saturday and ended at 5.50 am yesterday and came about as officers intensified their search for three Chaguanas kidnap victims. (See Page 7)

The joint effort was led by officers from the Chaguanas, Southern and Port-of-Spain CID, Organised Crime Narcotics and Firearm Bureau, Inter-Agency Task Force and the Defence Force.

The exercise was headed by Supt Rattan Singh and Lt Frank Metivier, while field operations were co-ordinated by Insp Stephen Ramsubhag, Sgt Danny Ramlogan and Cpls Terrance Williams, Terrel Figaro and Mitchell Mohan.

In all, some 200 law enforcement officers, 50 of whom were from the Defence Force, were involved in the raids.

Three men, ages 19, 21 and 23, all from Enterprise, were arrested in connection with the kidnaping of businesswoman Tessa Ramdath-Maraj, 26, who was abducted on October 18 outside her parents’ Valsayn businessplace.

A 32-year-old Seymour Village, Laventille, man was also arrested in connection with murder which took place a year ago.

Twenty-four people were also arrested on outstanding warrants, for crimes ranging from rape, robbery, possession of arms and ammunition, trafficking of cocaine and marijuana to housebreaking.

Following the exercise, 13 people were charged and will appear before a Chaguanas magistrate today.

Among them was a 42-year-old Chaguanas businessman and his 36-year-old wife, who were arrested at their Caroni Savannah, Chaguanas, home, following the execution of a search warrant.

While searching the house, officers allegedly found a .22 revolver and ten rounds of ammunition. The couple was later charged for possession of arms and ammunition.

Senior officers have hailed the exercise as a success and have vowed to continue such exercises in an attempt to weed out criminals in the Central Division.

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