More than 50 females have been raped and robbed over the last two years by men posing as taxi operators, and the police are urging women and girls to be extremely cautious while taking public transportation.
According Superintendent Charmine Shand, head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), all the women reported being blindfolded and raped before being taken to an ATM to withdraw money for their attackers, who then drop them off at strange locations.
“We honestly believe that there is a group of men out there who are working together. It is the same modus operandi. It is the same thing that they do,” said Shand.
There were 27 such cases reported in 2016 and another 16 in 2017. Since the start of this year, CISOCA has received at least nine reports fitting the same pattern. Five of these rapes took place in St Catherine South, which covers Portmore, two were in the Corporate Area and another two in St James.
Shand said in most of the cases, the fake taxi operators worked with other criminals posing as passengers. She said cars with red licence plates indicating that they are public passenger vehicles, and some with private plates have been used by the men, who are believed to be serial rapists.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) last week released a sketch of one of these illegal taxi operators, who is wanted for abduction and rape in St James. He is said to frequent the Coral Gardens, Ironshore and Providence routes and is generally accompanied by either a male or a female.