Speedy Cash from a police station
OPERATORS of the Speedy Cash partner plan in Montego Bay yesterday used the St James divisional police headquarters to dole out payments.
From as early as 6:30 am, long lines of those eager to recoup their initial investment, plus a little bit extra, inhibited traffic flow in the Freeport area.
“I understand that the reason they came here to pay out the money is because when the people went to the original location, they didn’t have proper crowd control and there were pickpockets there,” said acting Constabulary Communications Network liaison officer for the parish, constable Lancelot Tyrell. “Because of the limited security, people tended to cause damage to the building and other surrounding businesses could not operate normally,” he added.
One Speedy Cash spokeswoman, who refused to give her name, said they had been given notice from their previous location at Wesmore Plaza on Barnett Street because of some of their customers’ behaviour.
“We couldn’t control the crowd there, and the people them want to mash up the building and other people can’t do business,” she explained as her colleagues urged her to keep quiet. “We get notice to leave, so we come here.”
According to her, they started operating in November, and were now making payments to persons who were slated to get their “draw” on the 19th.
She added that a notice would be sent out to inform other patrons of the date of their payments.
When he spoke with the Observer shortly after 11:30 am, Constable Tyrell said that the partner plan had already paid out over $15 million to patrons.
Throughout the day, police officers restricted entry to the plan’s clients who had gathered at the station gates, only allowing them to enter in small groups. The payments were made at a small table outside the main building.
Security guards, police officers and curious onlookers milled about, gaping at the mostly calm members of the crowd.
Umbrellas were brought out to ward off the sun’s rays when the payments ceased temporarily as operators went in search of more funds. Their clients waited patiently, most reluctant to speak to the media.
“When we join, whe oonu when de-” one woman asked as she battled the sun.
Another man was more forthcoming but still did not disclose his name.
“I was here earlier, from about 6:30 am and left and come back and hear say money finish,” he said. “If me nuh get it, a so. I knew from the beginning that this thing don’t make sense, but I just take a chance. If bank can collapse, why this can’t collapse-“
Since last year, a number of these pyramid schemes have sprung up in the western end of the island. The police have been called upon, on several occasions, to calm angry mobs that had difficulty accessing their funds or getting information.
The police and financial pundits have repeatedly warned that these schemes will eventually collapse and leave some people fleeced of their funds; but that has not stemmed the flow of new customers.