Cops busted in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica- Four policemen, including a senior officer, are being held at the high-security New Horizon Remand Centre in Kingston, following their arrests for the December 2004 disappearance of two men from a shopping centre in Kingston.

The men – Kemar Walters and Oliver Duncan – were abducted from the bustling shopping centre along Washington Boulevard and their Honda CRV later found burnt to a shell on the Port Royal Road in Kingston. However, their bodies were never found.

Mark Shields, the deputy commissioner in charge of the crime portfolio, said the identities and ranks of the cops would not be released as the investigation was continuing.

“I will not comment on that, all I will say is that they are in custody and will be questioned in due course,” Shields told the Observer.

Shields said the families of the kidnapped men were informed of the arrests and while their remains had yet to be found, the police were looking to help the grieving families find closure.

The news further jolted the image of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, following sharply on Tuesday’s announcement by Police Commissioner Hardley Lewin that he had retired 10 cops in the public interest, in connection with the deadly lotto scam in the northcoast resort city of Montego Bay.

Walters and Duncan were reportedly bundled into a vehicle and carted off by three armed men, one of whom was wearing a police vest.

Walters’ father, Lloyd Walters, operated an auto repair garage on West Main Road in St Andrew where Duncan had been a client for about a year.

Police said that on the day both men were abducted, Duncan had gone to the garage driving a dark blue Honda CRV. He gave Walters a lift to the nearby Washington Plaza on Washington Boulevard as he was going to purchase auto parts.

But the men were apparently detained by the cops and have not been seen since. One of the cops reportedly drove away the sports utility vehicle.

Two weeks after the incident a burnt out shell of a Honda CRV was found in the mangroves on Port Royal Road but despite several searches by the police in that area, the remains of the two men were not found.

Duncan was alleged to be a major player in a multimillion-dollar car-stealing ring which involved policemen, body repairmen and car alarm technicians.
Three cops who were assigned to the Organised Crime Unit were implicated in the case.

Then Police Commissioner Francis Forbes sought help from Scotland Yard investigators to crack the case, but the investigation hit a snag and a police corporal who was charged with unlawful abduction in connection with the case was freed because of lack of evidence.

However, in April last year, Shields called a press conference to announce that the police had uncovered fresh evidence and had reopened the probe.

“It remains a blot on the history of the Jamaica Constabulary Force but we will not stop until we reach the end of the investigation,” Shields said.