A man was murdered when bandits invaded his Festival City home this past weekend. They took away his television set and a small amount of cash. They also took his life in an incident which shows how dangerous it is to live in Guyana and how vulnerable citizens are even in their own home.
The dead man was described as a tout at the magistrate courts. Now this one had me baffled. I have heard of touts at the minibus parks and I recall the days of old when there were touts at the cinema. But what service can a tout be providing at the courts? I hope someone explains.
In the old days, the main form of public entertainment was the cinema. When a popular movie was being shown, touts would somehow find a way to purchase a stack of tickets. This would reduce the number of tickets available to be sold to regular patrons.
When the rest of the tickets were sold out, these touts would offer the tickets they had. But at a far higher price (black market price). This was what was called “touting” at the cinema – buying tickets and selling them back at a higher price.
After many complaints about the operations of these touts, which was depriving regular cinema goers from being able to gain admission to the cinemas, the police clamped down and arrested a number of the touts. But it was only for a time because afterwards they continued their practice.
Earlier this year, the police arrested a number of touts at the minibus parks. The police claimed that the soliciting of passengers was unlawful. More than one hundred touts were arrested.
The newspapers did not report a single case of any of these alleged lawbreakers being placed before the courts. And touting is back in full force at the minibus parks.
Last week, there was CPL cricket at the National Stadium. Many persons were unable to attend because they did not obtain tickets. But from the Demerara Harbour Bridge to the entrance to the stadium, there were touts reselling tickets at higher price. They were racketeering these tickets. There were at least twelve persons reselling tickets. Some had large stacks of tickets.
It has been suggested that some of them bought these tickets early and were then selling them at a high markup. It was also claimed that in some cases tickets, which were procured by employers for distribution to their staff, somehow was being resold at a higher price by unscrupulous staff.
But what was most interesting was that the police was right there near to these illegal ticket sellers who were plying their trade openly. And the police did absolutely nothing to stop this racketeering of tickets.
There are lots of others things that the police are not doing. A few days ago, two men stabbed each other to death following an argument in Alberttown, Gegorgetown. The weapons that these men had in their possession were like bayonets. So what were they doing with these weapons?
In the old days, if you were a grass cutter, you invariably walked around with a cutlass. But you had to wrap it either in newspaper or have it in sheath to conceal the blade. If the colonial police caught you walking with a cutlass openly, they would stop and question you and advise you to ensure that the blade was concealed.
Presently, there are persons walking around our streets with ice-picks and bayonets in their waists. It is not hard to imagine what they are going to do if they get into an argument.
Yet, the police are not stopping these persons and questioning them why they have a weapon in their possession. But let the police spot an opportunity to stop a motorist, they will quickly jump into action.
Bandits and assassins are moving around in cars. Not so long ago, youths on motorcycle were involved in robberies, including robbing persons after the left commercial banks. Right now, there are young hooligans riding around in gangs on bicycles and molesting and robbing persons.
But it does not end there. Persons who went to the cricket at the National Stadium were robbed by flatfooted bandits.
What’s next? Will the bandits next come by helicopter or drone?
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