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Jamaica: Extortion Racket – Former Corruption Czar Says Politicians, Dons, Police Fleecing Contractors

In a stunning revelation yesterday evening, former Contractor General Dirk Harrison detailed how the pockets of local contractors are raided by politicians, the police, and dons although already faced with stiff competition from foreigners who enjoy vast concessions.

Harrison, who resigned in September from the Integrity Commission as acting director of corruption prosecutions, said that he knew of contractors who refused to vie for government contracts because it was no longer profitable for them because of endemic corruption between the processes of bidding and competition.

“Foreign and local contractors must be required to operate on a level playing field. You cannot – well, it ought no to – give preferential treatment to non-nationals to the detriment of local contractors. You cannot allow foreign contractors to avoid taxes and custom duties by virtue of exemptions and waivers and local contractors are not given that benefit. The economies of scale are such that the local contractors cannot competitively submit bids, much less make a profitable return, when mitigating factors include extortion and corruption.

“In speaking to a contractor, he indicated he would not bid on any more government contracts. He said when he tried to make 50 per cent profit … having to pay the local don in the community, the member of parliament, and the police, there was nothing left for him, so it was no longer profitable,” said Harrison during a public lecture at St Luke’s Anglican Church in St Andrew.

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