Don't let the threats scare you - Businessman Calvin Lyn tells colleagues not to bow to extortionists
Despite threats of death and mayhem from extortionists who have written formal letters to business operators in central Jamaica, making demands for protection money, Calvin Lyn has pledged to stand his ground.
Lyn, who operates a funeral home as well as Hargreaves Hospital in Manchester, told THE STAR that he will not give in. He has appealed to other business persons to work together, cooperate with law enforces and "defend it".
"Don't let the threats scare you. I will sacrifice myself for my business and my family. Whatever I can do to help to twart any lawlessness, I am prepared to give my life," the 78-year-old said last night.
Police investigators are now trying to track down three persons who they believe are the masterminds behind a frightening letter that was distributed to business operators in three parishes on the weekend, demanding extortion payments of up to $100,000 each month.
Assistant Commissioner Clifford Chambers, the man leading the investigations, said two men have so far been arrested.
Several men were captured on CCTV cameras driving around the Mandeville town centre on Saturday, distributing the letters to several businesses. Law enforcement sources say some of the men were captured on closed circuit television as they delivered the letters.
The extortionists have warned that there would be a zero-tolerance approach towards late payment and those business operators who defied their demands.
"If you feel the need to get the police involved or private security to protect your business or fight this proposal, feel free to do so because if they apprehend the subject that is sent to you, you the (owner, manager, employee) will be killed and your family will be at high risk of being murdered in the most gruesome way," it warned.
The extortionists' threats appear to mean nothing to Lyn.
"I am prepared to defend this rock. as I have said over and over; I man born yah, I naah leave yah," he said.
Lyn said he is prepared to stand up to the criminals, whether they be "he-male, she-male or B-male."
"My word to them is that they must think again. They might be brave, but as business people we are braver than them. We are going to defend this. We are not going to allow them to destroy our lives, our business and this country," Lyn said.
Garfield Green, president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said extortion has never been a problem in the parish. He said that members of the chamber will meet to discuss the matter today.