Self-proclaimed banker testifies to extortion and more for Clansman chieftain

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The much-watched Clansman gang trial finally kicked off on Wednesday with the revealing testimony of a former gang member who allegedly raised thousands of dollars in extortion at the Spanish Town bus park to fund the illicit activities of the gang.

According to the witness who was testifying from a remote location via video link, the money was used to purchase weapons and ammunition, and to pay for legal representation for gang members, among other things.

The male witness testified that he collected between $ 80,000 and $ 100,000 six days a week in the Spanish Town bus park in St. Catherine from a man on the orders of the chief of gang, Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan.

Interestingly, the witness, who was also allegedly Bryan’s personal driver, said “powerful people” helped fund the gang’s operations, including infamous crimes, including multiple murders, committed by its members.

While indicating that he had collected $ 200,000 per month from other sources for the gang led by Bryan, the witness did not name the person (s) who gave him the money, explaining that he feared for his own safety, because these people were “powerful people.”

Bryan, while being a suspected member of the Clansman Gang, is the alleged leader of the One Don Gang, a fraction of the Clansman Gang.

He and 32 other defendants, including a woman, are on trial under the Criminal Justice Suppression of Criminal Organizations Act 2014, better known as anti-gang legislation, on an indictment that included 25 counts, for allegedly being part of a criminal organization in a judge-only trial.

In his explosive testimony before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes of the Home Circuit Court, the witness described himself as the “banker” of the gang, also claiming that he would raise $ 150,000 from a loan company on behalf of Bryan.

To keep track of all the money he collected, the witness said he recorded it in a notebook which was kept in his room. The money was kept in a refrigerator, also inside his house.

These funds, all of which came from extortion, were reportedly used to buy illegal guns, pay suspected gang members, rent cars, and pay legal fees for suspected gang members.

However, the book containing the statement of funds was reportedly destroyed by the witness due to the imposition of a state of emergency in 2018.

Asked by the prosecution how he met Bryan, the witness told court he met him in 2016 through a friend who was also a former member of the Clansman gang. This friend has since been killed.

In addition, the male witness told the court that he became a member of the gang because he learned that the membership application came from “Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan.

“… and you don’t refuse a gangster,” said the witness.

While stating that he carried Bryan on a daily basis, the witness said the dreaded gangster often slept at his house.

During his testimony, the witness also identified Bryan and his other co-accused.

In his startling testimony, the man said he also witnessed several murders committed by the gang.

The witness said he was accused of belonging to a criminal organization and spent time in prison while waiting for his case to be heard, but he ultimately decided to testify against the gang members because he did not wish to waste court time.

The charges against the witness have since been dropped.

The trial is scheduled to continue on Thursday.

On Monday, Bryan and his co-defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charges, paving the way for the trial to begin.

The men and woman were charged with multiple offenses including being part of a criminal organization, illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, aiding and abetting conspiracy to murder and arson. .

The offenses allegedly occurred between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2019, in Sainte-Catherine.

The proceedings take place in two courtrooms, with around 40 lawyers and 43 witnesses involved in the case which is expected to span at least several weeks.

The case was delayed on Tuesday due to technical difficulties.


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