Extortionists stalk Kingston businesses

(Jamaica Gleaner) – The police, as well as the heads of the umbrella private sector organisations, have expressed surprise at extortion claims being made by some members of the downtown business district.

On Wednesday, some business operators in the downtown commercial district pleaded for plain-clothes policemen to be brought into the area as they have been reeling from an upsurge in robbery, extortion and threats to their establishments over the past three weeks.

The business operators dispatched the SOS in the face of innovative ploys they claim are being mounted against them by extortionists.

“They are watching every move of the police,” said one business owner who feared the consequences of being identified.

However, Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green insisted that plain-clothes policemen are assigned to the area and that indications are that cases of extortion have minimised significantly.

“My understanding is quite the reverse,” declared Green in response to questions put to him about the supposed upsurge in extortion.

He told The Gleaner that the police have made several recent arrests in relation to allegations of extortion in the downtown area.

“Suspects have been charged and are being prosecuted,” he said.

Green stressed that persons who have been victims of extortion in recent weeks must make a report to have the matter investigated.

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