Kidnap mystery

There has been deafening silence from the police following allegations that a taxi driver was kidnapped in St Catherine on Tuesday and that a demand for $400,000 has been made for his release.

Jamaica Observer sources say early Tuesday morning the 36-year-old taxi operator, whose name is being withheld, left his mother’s house in Linstead, St Catherine and headed to Spanish Town where he operates.

Hours later his girlfriend received a call from someone on his cellular phone demanding the ransom.

The matter was reported to the police and a team of investigators from the St Catherine North Police Division, as well as a team from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). went in search of the taxi operator.

Police sources say the investigators identified a “red zone” based on where the cellular call had been made to the taxi driver’s girlfriend, but they failed to find him or his alleged kidnappers.

Up to late yesterday there was no official word from the police on the case, with one senior officer underscoring that “the JCF does not comment on kidnappings”.

Calls made by the Observer yesterday to the taxi operator’s cellular phone number went straight to voicemail.

Since the start of this year there have been no reports of kidnappings listed among the major crimes statistics produced by the JCF.

Up to Thursday the police had recorded 638 murders across the island since the start of the year, 14 more than the same period last year. Shootings numbered 560, a slight decline from the 569 recorded over the same period last year.

The police figures also showed a 44 per cent decline in the number of reported rape cases and a 22 per cent decline in robberies.

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