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DEADLY CASH FOR GOLD DEAL on Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:31 pm



Noel Thompson, Star Writer

The perennial Cash-For-Gold scheme, which has gained notoriety in the nook and cranny of the island, became deadly yesterday in Hanover when three traders were shot - two fatally.

The bizarre scenario played out in broad daylight at around 3 p.m. in full view of many residents in the usually quiet rural district of Baulk Road, Dry Hill, near Kingsvale.

Superintendent Dermot Lawrence, the commanding officer in charge of Hanover, told The Star late last evening that investigations were still at a preliminary stage, as the police intensify their efforts to gather as much information as they could.

"That area is usually a quiet district and is not known for that sort of crime. We are appealing to eyewitnesses to assist the police with any information and that will be kept in strict confidence," Lawrence said.

Last night, the Hanover police identified one of the murdered victims as O'Neil Anglin, 29, of Little London, Westmoreland; while the other dead man was only identified by his alias, 'Blacks', also of the same address. Police did not release the name of the third man who is now battling for life at a hospital.

It was the usually buzzing Friday afternoon in the market in the capital, Lucea - a quaint town, and business was said to be seemingly booming for the three men who were actively shouting the popular tagline - 'cash fi yuh gold', repeatedly.

A resident said while the men were trading, one of them got a call from someone who directed him to go to Dry Hill, as persons there wanted to trade in their scrap gold.

The men who were travelling in a rented 1998 grey Toyota Corolla motor car were directed to Baulk Road - a parochial road. Realising they had reached a cul-de-sac, the men were heading back on to the main road when two men emerged and fired indiscriminately. The men were shot multiple times in their heads, faces and other parts of their bodies.

Anglin and 'Blacks' died instantly, but the third man who was travelling in the front passenger seat escaped. He ran on to the road and was assisted to the hospital. The Star understands that he was shot 10 times.

The police say robbery was the motive for the killings, as cash and gold that were in their possession were taken.

The cash-for-gold activity has become a worrying trend for quite sometime now, with ordinary Jamaicans and senior police personnel calling for it to be banned. One senior government person expressed the same sentiment yesterday.

It has resulted in an increase in robberies and housebreak-ins and with the price of gold being sold for between US$900 (J$77,400) and US$1,200 (J$103,200) per ounce, it is feared that the illegal trade could fester into a serious nightmare.

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