Taxi operator Lorenzo Pennicott and Aaron Matthis, President of the Spanish Town Taxi Association
Some taxi operators in Spanish Town, St. Catherine are accusing members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force of colluding with wrecker service companies.
They staged a protest Wednesday morning, claiming that the police are unfairly targeting them to make money.
Taxi operator Lorenzo Pennicott said the police on Saturday seized his vehicle after he was accused operating contrary to his road licence.
He told RJR News that he had been plying his route from Young Street to Burke Road, where he was stopped by the police after he let off a passenger.
"Upon letting off the passenger, he told me I am contrary. So I want to ask the government, how can I be contrary on Burke Road when my road licence specifically said I'm supposed to drive on Burke Road," he contended.
He said his vehicle was taken to a garage and he was asked to pay $25,000 to clear it.
Mr. Pennicott said he ended up paying the wrecking company $20,000 and the Transport Authority $8,000 to retrieve his vehicle.
Aaron Matthis, President of the Spanish Town Taxi Association, has called for the intervention of Transport Minister Robert Montague following reports about alleged collusion between the police and wrecker service companies.
"The operators are feeling the pinch left, right and centre because I keep saying in Spanish Town it's a business with the police and the wrecking company because if police benefit, the wrecker man benefit. The wrecker drive behind the police and you have wrecker man who drive on the road, call a policeman, tell him that a man seem to be off route and a policeman come and seize the vehicle," he asserted.
He said it is alleged that the police benefit by at least $5,000 for every car that is seized by police and taken away by a wrecking company.
He said he has previously asked the Transport Authority for a quote of the average amount a wrecking company can charge when it seizes a vehicle, but it has not received such a listing.