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THUGS COLLECT WATER TAX - Money taken from people washing cars, watering lawns

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by jamaica star

The police are investigating at least three incidents in which unidentified men have been driving through sections of east Kingston and 'taxing' persons for the use of water.

The men are said to be demanding money from people seen washing their cars, watering their lawns and bathing a dog, declaring that water was scarce and, as such, they should pay tax for it, since the activity they were using it for was not important.

Head of the East Kingston police, Superintendent Michael Bailey, was unavailable for comment.

However, a source from the division told THE STAR that the incidents occurred over the past two weeks, and added that one of the victims was beaten for not wanting to comply with the men's monetary orders.

Really robbery

"We heard of at least three cases in two weeks. The men took money from these people for using water in their own homes. It's really robbery," the source, a corporal, from the division, explained.

The latest of such incidents reportedly took place last Thursday and involved a woman who was seen washing her vehicle some time around 8 p.m.

The police say three men pulled up at the woman's gate and immediately entered her yard. One of the men was reportedly armed with a gun.

They then demanded money after arguing that she should not be using water to wash her car since it is a scare commodity. She reportedly had to fork out $8,000 before the men left.

One man from another community was not so lucky. He reportedly had to give $10,000 but was also assaulted.

The police say last week Monday the man was watering his lawn 9 p.m. when the event unfolded. It is said that the same group of men approached him and demanded money.

When he failed to comply a gun was brandished and he was forced inside his home, where he told them where to find the money.

He was then beaten by the men before they sped off in a red Honda motor car, which fits the description given by all the victims.

In the third incident last week, the thugs took $3,000 for another man. The police say investigations are ongoing.

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