"We nuh waan rob and tief" - CD sellers want police to give them a break

May 17, 2018
A vendor shows off some of his bootleg CDs.


"It's like they want us to go tun gunman and start rob people," one CD vendor said as he explained that they need a break from the police.

This view comes days after the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigating Branch arrested four men for breaches of the Trademark and Copyright Acts; two of them were held for selling bootleg CDs in St Ann.

Mike*, who also sells bootleg CDs, said that he is selling as a means of getting by because they recognise stealing from people is not worth it.

"We out here have a 'FFR' system; we fear, fight and run. Right now mi nuh inna school, and me affi a do the likkle hustling because mi cya get no work," he said.

The news team was told that these vendors are targeted every day by the police, especially on Saturdays.

"Dis a hand-to-mouth thing. Mi have a daughter, that's why me a do this," said Dave*, who also sells CDs in downtown Kingston.

Last month, Assistant Superinten-dent of Police Victor Barrett said the police are making efforts to clamp down on counterfeit goods, not only in Kingston.


Million-dollar industry


"We are definitely going out of town; we are going to Montego Bay, St Ann, St Thomas, and Westmoreland," Barrett said.

One bootleg CD supplier said that people should recognise that this is not a million-dollar industry.

"A we burn the CDs weh the man dem sell. We sell them by the box and one box a fi J$9,000. People think we a make money but sometimes when we done buy everything to put the packaging together, we only make $5,000 off one box," he said.

He added that they need the police to give them a chance to make some money, but if they had something better to do they would.

"If them a go tek weh we things and put we out of a job, why don't they give us something to do? They want us to take up gun and start to do bad things? It will look that way because we a try a thing to survive and they are fighting us," said Willis.

*Names changed

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