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Jamaica heist probe widens to Cayman Islands

KINGSTON — Law-enforcement agents probing last week’s heist of Rolex watches from Swiss Stores in downtown Kingston have now turned their eyes to the Cayman Islands, where a similar robbery took place and some of the expensive watches transported to Jamaica.

Police investigators believe that the perpetrators behind the theft of the watches in Jamaica are members of a highly organised group. At least 24 watches were reported stolen in Cayman, a number of which ended up in Jamaica, and the police here are working with their counterparts in Cayman to dismantle the group and end the transnational crime.

“Some of the Rolex watches that were stolen in the Cayman Islands recently are here. So we are now looking at previous jewellery-store robberies, especially those which occurred in the Montego Bay area,” head of the Flying Squad Unit, Senior Superintendent Cornwall Bigga Ford, disclosed yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Flying Squad’s offices in downtown Kingston, the top-flight crime fighter said five suspects, including a prominent political activist of St. Thomas and a Corporate Area businessman, have been arrested in connection with last week’s theft at Swiss Stores.

Initial reports are that a lone gunman walked into the store on April 10 and made off with more than $7 million worth of Rolex watches. One of the watches costs US$5,000 and upward.

Recovered items

“Between Tuesday and yesterday, we have recovered 13 of the 16 Rolex watches that were stolen last week, plus some Movado wristwatches. We also seized over US$150,000 and J$500,000, an illegal firearm, two licensed shotguns, with over 500 rounds of assorted ammunition,” said Ford.

Preliminary investigation has suggested that the political activist and the businessman are business partners, operating a construction company.

They were picked up following an intense operation, which took the police into sections of St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Barbican in St. Andrew, and into the commercial district of downtown Kingston. (Gleaner)

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