Vendors complain of extortion in May Pen
Some vendors from May Pen, Clarendon, said they are frustrated that the police are forcing them into the market when no one is coming there to buy from them.
One person said that vendors and shoppers alike are afraid of going in the market because they are being extorted.
"For the past six weeks or up the vendors in the market are under attack. They have been killing them for extortion money. Dem a dead off, me a tell yuh like wow. People are afraid because they don't want to get robbed," said a man who wanted to remain anonymous.
However, Mayor of May Pen, Winston Maragh, said that he is not aware of this happening.
"We did a walk through yesterday [Monday] morning for three hours in the entire market district and not one of the vendors told us that they were being extorted," he said. "The vendors want to occupy the sidewalk and they have spaces in the market, but they refuse to go there because everyone wants to be on the main road."
The vendors who spoke to The STAR said there is no security in the market and the police are aware of this. They said that the police need to increase their presence in the market if they are going to sell in there.
But Maragh countered these claims as well.
"They [the vendors] have been in meetings with the police and have not said anything about extortion or not feeling safe. They refuse to go in the market so every day they find a different excuse," he said.