March 19: “Death Squad Operating With The Police Force”

1952: Importation of raw hides and uncooked meats from the United Kingdom and Canada into Jamaica has been banned as a result of the Department of Agriculture taking steps to protect local cattle from foot and mouth disease. Outbreak of the disease in the United Kingdom and Canada has made the ban necessary, as raw hides and uncooked meat are the principle means by which the disease is transmitted. The Trade Control Department and the Collector of Customs are cooperating to enforce the ban.


1956: Trial of six maroons, who were arrested as a result of a police raid on Accompong Town, St Elizabeth, on January 23, takes a dramatic turn in the Resident Magistrate’s court at Balaclava. William Durrant, one of the accused, stops the prosecution’s case, against the advice of his solicitor, pleads guilty to a charge of having ganja in his possession. As a result his wife, Eileen Durrant, who was jointly charged with him is dismissed.


1964: The commissioner of income tax says that it was now proposed to issue proceedings against all employers who have not sent in their annual returns under the PAYE system. He says that these returns should have been submitted to the collector of taxes in each area by January 14, 1964. Failure to submit returns in accordance with the regulations under the Income Tax Law may render an employer, if liable, on conviction before a resident magistrate to a fine of £100 or each day the offence continues.


1970: Penalties for restricted goods arriving in Jamaica without the necessary clearance documents will be applied “most severely” in the future so as to act as a major deterrent to negligence or attempted evasion of customs requirements, the Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon Edward Seaga, says in a statement. The minister’s statement referred to a shipment of over 1,500 cases of falsely manifested goods, which have been detained at the Queen’s Warehouse pending legal advice. It also reminded importers of the penalties for non-compliance with customs requirements.


1979: Prime Minister Michael Manley says that the heads of security forces, the attorney general and the national security minister had assured him that they had given no instructions and had no knowledge or suspicion of the existence of a “death squad” operating with the police force. Mr Manley says he has also instructed them to investigate if they could find any evidence of such a squad operating at any level or in any branch of the security forces and was assured that they had found no such evidence.