"We nuh waan rob and tief" – CD sellers want police to give them a break
“It’s like they want us to go tun gunman and start rob people,” one CD vendor said as he explained that they need a break from the police.
This view comes days after the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigating Branch arrested four men for breaches of the Trademark and Copyright Acts; two of them were held for selling bootleg CDs in St Ann.
Mike*, who also sells bootleg CDs, said that he is selling as a means of getting by because they recognise stealing from people is not worth it.
“We out here have a ‘FFR’ system; we fear, fight and run. Right now mi nuh inna school, and me affi a do the likkle hustling because mi cya get no work,” he said.
The news team was told that these vendors are targeted every day by the police, especially on Saturdays.
“Dis a hand-to-mouth thing. Mi have a daughter, that’s why me a do this,” said Dave*, who also sells CDs in downtown Kingston.
Last month, Assistant Superinten-dent of Police Victor Barrett said the police are making efforts to clamp down on counterfeit goods, not only in Kingston.
“We are definitely going out of town; we are going to Montego Bay, St Ann, St Thomas, and Westmoreland,” Barrett said.
One bootleg CD supplier said that people should recognise that this is not a million-dollar industry.
“A we burn the CDs weh the man dem sell. We sell them by the box and one box a fi J$9,000. People think we a make money but sometimes when we done buy everything to put the packaging together, we only make $5,000 off one box,” he said.
He added that they need the police to give them a chance to make some money, but if they had something better to do they would.
“If them a go tek weh we things and put we out of a job, why don’t they give us something to do? They want us to take up gun and start to do bad things? It will look that way because we a try a thing to survive and they are fighting us,” said Willis.