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VIDEO: Jones Town taxi operators fearful after colleague goes missing

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 08, 2019

A number of taxi operators who ply the Jones Town to downtown Kingston route Wednesday expressed fear for their safety following the disappearance of one of their colleagues last week.

The operators withdrew their service to protest against the disappearance of their colleague, 51-year-old Kenneth Duncan along Collie Smith Drive in St Andrew.

Duncan, otherwise known as Paul and Twinnie, of Crooks Street, Kingston 12 was last seen about 9:00 pm last Thursday at the Kingston Public Hospital wearing a khaki pants, a white T-shirt and a pair of black slippers.

He is of dark complexion, stout build and is about 162 centimetres (5 feet 4 inches) tall.

The protesting taxi operators said they suspect foul-play in Duncan's disappearance and are fearful that he may have been killed.

“We never had this occurrence where Twinnie is concern. We realise that other drivers have been missing over the years; kidnappers take them away, take away their cars and killed them; some of them we find their body, some we don't,” a taxi operator who gave his name as Jeffery told the Jamaica Observer.

Noting that his life has been threatened on more than one occasion, Jeffery said Duncan's disappearance is a call for concern. At the same time, he appealed to person who might know of his whereabouts to come forward.

“The whole community is hurt [as] everybody loves Twinnie. Everybody can speak good of Twinnie. We love him and we miss and we would a really love to get him back right yah now, if is even him body weh we can bury him…,” Jeffery continued.

“Right now taxi men [are] in fear right now and we came off the road from early because nobody no want to have this experience. We affi a look out for thief cause a one life you have to live and you have to take care of it to the best of your ability,” said Jeffrey.

Another operator who gave his name as Michael, said too, that he was in fear of his life.

“It could be anyone of us because it has happened before. Is like we took too long to do this, but now is the time. We have do this (show unity) now,” he said, adding that he hopes the protest will effect change.

At the same time, he claimed that kidnappers purporting to be taxi operators are also luring passengers in their vehicles.

Frustrated taxi operator, Howard Laidlaw, who accredited his livelihood to Duncan, claiming that he built the route, said he was hoping that his friend would have returned by now.

The operators, he said, would remain off duty until they get word of his whereabouts.

“We are providing a service and we thought that we would be safe in our own community providing such service and now it comes to bear that's not the case. Right now we feel threatened. Twinnie is a man who everybody knows and if they can take him away, they can take away anybody,” Laidlaw added.

Kenneth's daughter, Pauliesha, said she reported her father missing on Friday when he did not return to his Jones Town, St Andrew home.

She said her father was driving a white Nissan Tiida motor car with a black bumper, bearing the licence plate 5229 GY.

Meanwhile, the taxi drivers said they would be contributing $5,000 each towards a $100,000-reward for information on their colleague.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Kenneth Duncan is being asked to contact the Admiral Town Police Station at (876) 922-6243 , police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.