THE proprietor of a Kingston business on Thursday eluded a police dragnet in May Pen, Clarendon, as lawmen intensify their search for the man who is wanted for questioning on allegations of fraud committed in Kingston.
Clifford Chambers, the senior superintendent in charge of the Organised Crime Investigative Division (OCID), told the Jamaica Observer that the police got information that the businessman — identified as Horace Haughton, otherwise known as 'Omer Haughton', 'Dean Haughton' and 'Dr Garcia Enriques Perez' — was in the parish and closed in on him around 4:15 pm. However, Chambers said Haughton jumped out of his motor car and escaped on foot.
"The police were not able to arrest him, but his car was seized," Chambers said.
Chambers said that a woman, who was with the businessman at the time, was questioned by the police.
The incident happened a day after the police named Haughton as a 'person of interest' and urged him or anyone knowing of his whereabouts to contact OCID.
Meanwhile, as rumours began to spread throughout the town that the businessman was held, a rowdy crowd reportedly converged at the May Pen Police Station demanding to see him.
The man, who operates his business along Hope Road in Kingston, is being hunted by the police following allegations that more than $9 million was fleeced from unsuspecting customers in a motor vehicle hire-purchase promotion that was being offered by his company.
"More than 20 persons have now come forward to make complaints against this businessman...," Chambers told the Observer on Wednesday. "We are seeking to meet with this person as part of our investigation," the OCID boss said.
Last week, the police visited the premises from which the businesses operated and found that equipment, including computers, were removed from the location, Chambers said. A sign on the office door stated that the business was closed until further notice.
Still, the police were able to confiscate several items to aid in their investigation.
Thursday's near apprehension of the businessman will be particularly frustrating to complainants, who became outraged two Mondays ago after the police, acting on a report by a customer, held him for questioning but released him a few hours later.
The police came under heavy criticism from complainants who had converged at the man's office demanding refund of their reported downpayments. Among those allegedly fleeced were doctors, members of the police force and the military.