Mon | Jun 14, 2021

Letter of the Day: Walmart fraud accused bring shame on Jamaica

Published:Friday | August 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I am a bit disturbed to hear that five Jamaicans who were employed at Walmart in Walton County, Florida, were arrested and charged on Tuesday with retail theft and conspiracy to commit fraud.

It is disturbing because at a time when Brand Jamaica is getting a facelift from our athletes in Beijing, China (the Bird's Nest), news such as this drags our image through the dirt once again.

As a country that is already being scrutinised by US authorities for scamming, acts such as these are no different. The opportunity to work in a foreign country, more so the land of milk and honey, is one that should be appreciated. Jobs are hard to get and many persons would have loved to be in their shoes (the five Jamaicans).

When acts of this nature are committed, the window of opportunity starts to close, thus making it harder for others to access this medium of student work-travel programme. I shake my head in disbelief to know that Jamaicans are involved in retail scamming, as I call it.

If the report is true that one of the suspects reportedly admitted in her statement that it was "an associate thing" and that they were "looking out for one another", it is a shame to know that we have young Jamaican women acting like a gang of bandits. That is not how we should look out for one another. We look out for one another by being honest and upholding integrity like Usain and Shelly-Ann are doing to the sport of athletics.

Let this be a warning to others who should ever be granted such an opportunity in the near future. Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. It should not be tolerated. Stealing is not excusable; it damages and tarnishes reputations for life.