Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Gang hit hard - CTOC nabs 25 members, including cop, women

Published:Tuesday | December 5, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Assistant Commissioner of Police and Head of CTOC, Fitz Bailey (left) addressing members of the media during a press conference at CTOC offices in Kingston yesterday. Looking on are Clifton Green (center) detective inspector and Patrick Samuels, deputy superintendent of police.

The police are claiming a massive breakthrough into the operations of one of Jamaica's most sophisticated and ruthless criminal outfits, the Terrence Gang, which they say has extended into seven parishes and has been responsible for a number of murders, shootings and rapes.

The lawless activity of the notorious gang has been disrupted following an operation Saturday, in which 25 of its members were arrested.

Three women and a Jamaica Constabulary Force member, said to be a detective corporal, were also picked up as part of the gang's activity. They, too, are awaiting charges.

The reputed gang leader Unchene Wilson was summarily arrested at Kingston Public Hospital prior to the operation on Saturday when he and his cronies fired on the police, who attempted to apprehend him. He had used a false name but was quickly identified and nabbed.

Head of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime (CTOC) Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, told reporters at a press conference yesterday in Kingston that he was confident that the 25 alleged gangsters now in custody will be charged pending interviews.

"So far, the police have identified about 40 members of this gang. And I think I can say we are confident that we have 25 now in custody and [they] will be charged. We feel that we will get the rest," Bailey said.

"During the investigation, it was discovered that this gang has been creating havoc across the island on a wide scale," he noted.

"The gang has been identified as performing sexual assaults against female victims including children, and [they] would also cause their victims, to perform oral sex on each other in the presence of children, in some cases," stated Bailey.

"If the victims resist, this would result in them being robbed, killed or shot," he added.

Investigations into the gang's nefarious activities began back in May 2017 following a series of robberies that were committed in St Ann.

The criminal outfit operated from their base in St Catherine and had an extensive reach, causing chaos and terror for citizens in that parish, as well as in Clarendon, St Ann, Trelawny, St Mary, Manchester and St Andrew, while racking up more than $400 million in loot.

... Well-organised gang

Head of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime (CTOC) Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, has said that the Terrence Gang was well organised and structured, with each member keen on his individual role. They would utilise careful planning and surveillance before approaching a victim.

"What we have identified among this group is a division of labour. Each gang member had specific task, and we realised that they stuck to the task given," Bailey noted.

The CTOC boss said that the gang members would also use their cronies, some of whom are closely affiliated to their victims, to provide key information - their aim being to avoid detection.

"They would stage their activities to incorporate inflicting minor injuries to their cronies to avoid being linked to the crime, the proceeds of which will be shared among themselves with [a] bigger share going to the planner," he said.

The gang is said to be responsible for 25 cases of murder and shooting in St Catherine and 18 robberies resulting in 15 firearms being stolen from their victims. Ten robberies occurred in St Ann, where they had also stolen two Toyota Coaster buses from one victim on separate occasions amounting to more than $30 million.

"What we identified also with this group is that you have persons who were available to dispose of their loot. They worked with a particular company where a significant portion of the stolen items were actually routed through that company and disposed of," he said.

Bailey used the occasion to appeal to members of other gangs, telling them to contact the police.

"I want to make an appeal to persons who are members of gangs who feel like they have been entrapped and want an escape route. I appeal to you to speak to somebody; I appeal to you call CTOC at 967-1389 and we might be able to show you the path if you want use it to purge your soul," he said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com