'Haitian connection' impacting crime in Jamaica

by

January 05, 2018

On Wednesday, while everyone was wringing their hands over the mess at Palisadoes on New Year's night, I believe a much bigger story was unfolding in Clarendon where police seized more than 500 rounds of ammunition and more than $1 million in cash.

Yes, I get the concern over flights out of the Norman Manley International Airport being delayed for hours because flight crews were caught up in the gridlock along the only highway leading to the airport, people missing flights, and the general indiscipline that caused it all. But that ammunition find really worries me.

The Sandz party debacle must be addressed. People must lose their jobs over this, and perhaps, money will have to be found to compensate airlines that would have lost revenue because of carelessness.

A massive public-relations campaign also needs to be launched to appease those who were affected and to assure those planning to visit that the same will not happen to them.

But I believe we are missing the big issue with this ammunition find. It is no coincidence that police seized more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition last year. That is more than twice the amount seized in 2016.

NOCOINCIDENCE

It is also not a coincidence that three Haitians were among the four persons arrested during Wednesday's seizure.

For years now we have known that there is an active guns-for-drugs trade going on between Jamaica and Haiti, an island less than 100 miles east of Port Morant.

We also have enough information to suggest that many Jamaican criminals use Haiti as a refuge when fleeing from the Jamaican police.

Over the past few years, thousands of weapons and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition have made their way into this country and is a major factor in the explosion of murders in

central Jamaica.

We know the scammers have been bringing in high-powered weapons into western Jamaica, but I believe a lot also comes in via Rocky Point and other ports of entry in that part of the country.

It is time that the Government and the security forces start taking a more serious look at the Haitian connection because it seems that every Dick, Tom and Harry in Clarendon these days has a gun and bullets, and it doesn't take much for someone to end someone's life.

Maybe it's time to engage the Haitian government for them to do their part in helping control the flow of guns and bullets from Haiti. It will be an important step in stemming the flow of blood in central Jamaica.

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