“I just wrote the government (about the Boscobel Road Toll Gang) and the PM responded:
I believe that this matter has been investigated and I have certainly received no other negative reports”
Mar 09, 2010, 7:43 AM comment by Ottawa-based tourist ChrisB on Trip Advisor
“My wife and I just returned from Barbados. We were shaken down by “Sean” and his friends and paid $10 to pass…
He actually jumped in the backseat of our Moke for a few minutes, which was a bit frightening. Alas we paid and moved on.
It is indeed still a problem.”
March 10, 2010 3:42pm comment by New York-based tourist jbm4130 on Trip Advisor
"The road is closed. I need ten dollars."
Prime Minister’s statement “Has been Investigated” means “No arrests. Nothing changed”
The leading travel website Trip Advisor has several forums going on the Barbados Boscobel Road Toll Gang where tourists to Barbados from around the world relate some of their stories for others. Similar Boscobel stories are carried on other travel forums as well.
Remember folks: this isn’t Barbados Free Press breaking this story. Dozens of tourists have related their experiences at Trip Advisor and other sites over the last few years and our police have done nothing. In the new world of the internet Barbados ignores this continuing gang activity at its peril. We first reported this story in September of 2008, but the tourist reports go back more than five years.
Members of the Boscobel Road Toll Gang stop tourist hired cars by standing in front of them. They inform the drivers that the road is closed, instruct them to drive another way and demand money for the “assistance”. They are big, nasty men and most of the tourists pay. It is a lucrative business for the gang.
Always seven or eight sitting at the “T” intersection and while one engages the driver in conversation another will sometimes come up behind on the passenger side, reach through an open window to grab a purse or a camera and then run like hell.
NEW REPORT: Gang members getting bolder – Entering cars, sitting in the rear seat behind driver!
A dangerous escalation…
The Royal Barbados Police Force is well aware of this bunch of thieves, but officers have apparently done nothing except take the reports from the poor tourists who are stupid enough to stop and roll down their windows. The Commissioner doesn’t seem to care and neither do the local officers who have actually been seen on occasion to wave at the gang members as they drive by on patrol.
The locals are now getting harassed as well. This, along with the gang members climbing into vehicles for “a friendly chat” are signs of a dangerous escalation. The gang is getting bolder.
On February 19, 2010 a UK tourist with family in Barbados wrote on Trip Advisor:
“I have my suspicions why this still goes on but if Barbados wants to keep it’s tourists then they need to sort it out.”
Another tourist, this one from New York city answered:
“This is a disgrace. And it’s continuance makes the police seem complicit.”
Hey, not to worry folks. Prime Minister David Thompson says “I believe that this matter has been investigated and I have certainly received no other negative reports”
I guess the PM doesn’t read Trip Advisor like the foreign tourists do.
Further Reading at Barbados Free Press
January 8, 2010 Barbados Police Helpless as hundreds of tourists extorted every month by Boscobel road toll gang
June 17, 2009 Boscobel Road Toll Gang Still Operating Freely In Barbados
September 16, 2008 Barbados Police Helpless In Stopping Boscobel Road Toll Gang
* About the photo: We are only using it to illustrate the story and have made the photo dark, blurry and sinister as a new work of art. The person in the photo is not associated with the Boscobel Toll Gang and has never been to Barbados. He is probably a nice, honest person.