Two pigs for 10 pistols - Former gangster claims 'gun for meat' trade fuelling praedial larceny
For years it has been speculated that guns were being bartered for food between Jamaica and Haiti.
In a two-part interview, former gangster Greg Smith* told THE WEEKEND STAR that brand-new high-powered firearms and hundreds of assorted ammunition are traded regularly for meat and marijuana. He claims that this is one of the reason why praedial larceny has been on the rise in the western end of Jamaica.
"Two pigs can give you 10 pistols. A lot of farmers and animal owners are missing their cattle, but a really the man dem a kill dem and carry them go trade. When the boat dem come to drop off and collect, no discussions nuh really gwaan between both parties because it's like a drop-box ting. The man dem send out the container and collect dem meat and send on the gun dem," he said.
However, there is a bigger catch to get the high-powered weapons.
"If a man waa get the big guns like the Uzi and M16, dem just get two cows. Is 'rich meat' dem call those. The Haitian dem hungry bad, cause more time the man dem give dem all some stale meat and them don't even realise. Them glad for it," he said.
According to Smith the 'gun for meat' trade is headed by some of the nation's politicians and lawmen.
"A lot of who you see a act like them a attack the crime problem is the cause of it. The guns for meat and weed trade is headed by top shot policeman and politicians. Me personally work with a couple a dem. Me know everything. Nuff a di boat dem, a police own them," he said.
After years of criminal activity, Smith said he decided to leave the gangster life after one of his family members was murdered by the police.
"Imagine me work fi dem and dem know say a me family, and di man dem still kill him. Deh so me realise say you can't trust no one and none a dem nuh have me back," he said.
"A whole a heap a tings a gwaan, but Jamaica will see everything in due time. In December alone is 140 gun the man dem collect enuh. Nah say you nuh have good police, but a lot of dem corrupt and just a watch MoBay a go to the dog dem."
* Name changed by request