Pay up or die! - extortion video frightens business owners
Some business operators in Manchester have become anxious following the emergence of an alleged extortion target video, which identifies over 40 businesses whose operators are being ordered to comply or die.
The 12 minute-long video surfaced on Facebook on Monday, and features the 'Order of the SM' logo, the same logo which appeared on extortion letters that were sent to 45 business operators in Clarendon and Manchester demanding up to $100,000 in extortion money in March.
The video opens with a voiceover saying, "Upset the established order and everything becomes chaos." This is followed by the words, "We are Coming!"
The video continues to show the pictures of several establishments in Manchester, juxtaposed with images of bloodied bodies, coffins, and bodies inside a morgue, all accompanied by an eerie soundtrack.
Upon learning that their establishments were featured in the video, some operators said they are taking it as a serious threat and will be contacting the police.
"I feel really bad because Jamaican business is not going well, and when we get these types of request [extortion] it's not good for me or the country," an electronic store owner lamented. He added that he received an extortion letter in March, and turned it over to the police.
Similarly, the operator of a jewellery and gift store in Mandeville said she is worried her establishment was included in the video.
"This is a serious issue because I thought this [extortion] thing had died a death, based on what happened previously. We were told that there are additional extortion letters that were not sent, and I told myself that we were fortunate that we did not get any. But with this now, I'm beginning to think we are up for some problems," the store owner said.
The operator of a salon and barber shop which was identified in the video said she finds the situation disturbing, and will get the police involved if anybody contacts her.
"It's not like there's any money making in the shop so I don't even know what to think," she said.
However, the operator of a flower and gift shop identified in the video told THE STAR he believes it is a hoax, and he is not worried as he did not receive and extortion letter.
Head of the police's communications unit, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay has the video, and said she will see to it that the relevant personnel review the content and determine how to proceed.