Bomb threat prankster regrets posting video

June 06, 2023

The suspected perpetrator of the recent bomb threat in Ocho Rios, St Ann, says the "prank" was never meant to be taken seriously.

In a video which went viral on the weekend, a person wearing a face covering claimed a bomb had been placed at a gas station in Ocho Rios. The person demanded $20 million from 'Andrew' to deactivate the explosive. The man, who spoke to THE STAR before he was taken into custody by the police, insisted it was just a prank.

"It was just a video I uploaded. I was gonna delete it like a hour later because there was no one doing it and I guess it slip me and then by time me check it, me sleep and wake and a it gone viral," he said.

The man, who the police have not named, is a recording artiste. He posted a video to his TikTok account claiming the threat was just a prank.

"I never thought anyone would take it that serious," he explained. "I'm not taking credit, I'm telling the public that it was a prank so they wouldn't take it serious because obviously they started take it too seriously. The day had already passed and it was just all over the place. It was everywhere, so I just wanted them to like cool on that side of it to know it's really nothing serious."

"Everybody else doing other pranks so I just thought of it and it was the first thing that come to mind," he added.

Senior communications strategist at the Jamaica Constabulary Force Dennis Brooks explained that these stunts pose a "significant challenge" within the context of the society.

"As our society transitions into the digital space we have to accept that there are going to be digital threats that replace threats that previously existed. And so for instance when you look at the traditional forms of pranking, whether it was calling 119 or calling the fire department ... and now that has evolved into what we see where people are going on social media and making threats. These are things that we can't take lightly. As we saw in St Ann yesterday, it disrupts economic activity, it disrupts social activity, it causes social upheaval and indeed it disturbs peoples livelihoods."

Brooks said that while people who engage in these activities should face the full force of the law, Jamaican legislators should begin assessing whether the current legislation sufficiently addresses these issues.

"Each case has to be judged on its own merit. So in a particular case, it might be straight public mischief, in another case it might be public mischief and cybercrime. In another case it might be offences against a person legislation because of the nature of the prank or because of the nature of the offence. It really depends on the facts of each individual case because each individual case is judged on its own fact. But I believe that we are seeing online is public mischief so it is not enough for people to use civil remedies," he said.

He continued, "In other jurisdictions they are treating with this issue of online public mischief and making sure that the law speaks clearly to that and I think we at least as a country owe it to ourselves to have a conversation about whether or not we are sufficiently covered in legislation."

Other News Stories