Tag Archives: Boscobel road toll gang

New Moke in production – but will higher crime rates and Bajan gangs kill sales of open vehicles?

The Moke is in production again – this time in China – and the new version remains true to the concept launched by Austin way back in 1964. The car was originally a military version of the famous Austin Mini and was loved by tourists all over the world’s tropical zones. This time it will also have electric and auto-transmission versions.

Can the new Moke reclaim its glory days when happy tourists securely roamed Bajan roads in open vehicles with nary a thought of crime or robbery?

Or will the Boscobel Toll Gang and other Bajan criminal gangs kill sales?

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Crime & Law, Police

New TripAdvisor discussion forum – Boscobel Toll Gang still frightening tourists with demands for money

"The road is closed. I need ten dollars."

“The bottom line is that we were terrified, and vowed never to explore anywhere near that part of the island again.”

Comment on TripAdvisor by Canadian tourist MelvaOntario_Canada, January 8, 2015

“Just got back from an amazing trip to Barbados. The only negative part was that we ran into the Boscobel toll gang. Reading some of the accounts I have read online, I think we got off pretty lightly, but it was still a pretty scary experience. Steer clear of Boscobel unless you want to get mugged!”

Comment on TripAdvisor by UK tourist wintersun2010, June 27, 2012

“This has been happening in Barbados for many years. It happened to us near north point in St Lucy same thing, road closed etc. Lost money and a camera.”

Comment on TripAdvisor by UK tourist footychick, June 18, 2009

Barbados Police helpless to stop Boscobel Toll Gang

The Boscobel “Road Toll Gang” has been terrorizing and extorting tourists and outsiders for at least ten years. Thousands of tourists have been accosted and frightened into paying money to pass.

Hotels and car hire agencies regularly warn tourists to avoid the Boscobel area, lest the tourists be frightened when the gang blocks the road and demands money to pass. As they do each and every day at the “TEE” intersection.

These thugs have been subjects of discussions at Trip Advisor and other travel forums for a full ten years. Writing to a Canadian tourist in 2010, Prime Minister David Thompson declared the matter closed, telling the tourist “I believe that this matter has been investigated and I have certainly received no other negative reports.”

The Prime Minister unfortunately was either uninformed or shining on the Canadian – because Toll Gang activity continued and grew.

Boscobel Robbery Barbados_Boscobel Gang Barbados

Boscobel, Barbados – home turf of the Boscobel Toll Gang        Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law

Tripadvisor: Boscobel Toll Gang still frightening tourists

Barbados Police unable to stop gang for seven years

With 27 million unique visitors a month, TripAdvisor.com is the world’s most popular travel website – and right now a very active topic of discussion on the Barbados forum is (once again) the Boscobel Toll Gang.

That discussion is bad for Barbados tourism, but there is this little uncontrollable thing called the internet where tourists discuss and report how their latest vacation went. Obviously our government hasn’t adapted to that reality because our leaders still think that if they ignore bad news it will eventually go away. Apparently our leaders are wrong.

The Boscobel “Road Toll Gang” have been seriously doing their thing for at least seven years now. They 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 then 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. Sometimes they arrange to be struck by the vehicle and then fall down “injured”. Sometimes they will even open an unlocked door and, UNINVITED, enter and sit down in the vehicle to further “talk” to the terrified tourists.

Reports say they sometimes stop as many as twenty or thirty vehicles on a busy day in good weather. Do the math: even at five vehicle stops a day with the usual two tourists per car we’re talking about hundreds of tourists a month having a bad experience with the Boscobel Toll Gang. That makes the Boscobel Toll Gang a serious problem for Barbados tourism even if TripAdvisor wasn’t carrying the story.

Shooting in Boscobel

In November of 2010 there was a shooting at a Boscobel football match and it was rumoured that some of the Boscobel Toll Gang were involved. If any further information came to light one way or the other we didn’t hear. Perhaps one of our readers can fill in the blanks?

As far as stopping cars, I think we heard about the police arresting one fellow but it has obviously had no effect on the overall activities of the gang. It’s the usual story with our police – they seem unable to commit to long term solutions to standing problems. They make one arrest and then call the job done. The leadership seems incapable of realizing that this one group of young men is doing so much harm to our tourism industry at a time when we desperately need every visitor to be saying nothing but positive things about Barbados.

Remember folks: this isn’t Barbados Free Press breaking this story. Dozens and dozens of tourists have related their experiences at Trip Advisor 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.

Here are a few recent quotes from people in the U.K., the USA and Barbados as taken from the Trip Advisor website today…

Jan 22, 2012, 3:00 PM
Nelson_France – UK

We drove through Boscobel 3 days ago and at 2 separate places these guys did try to stop us by standing in the road and saying that the road ahead was closed and that we had to go a different way. Luckily we had been warned and didn’t stop but it was a frightening experience and I wouldn’t have liked to have been surrounded by them if we had stopped – I think it would have been difficult to get away safely without some possible dents to car doors etc if you hadn’t handed over money. We were of course 2 European looking people in an H registered rental car so we were quite obviously tourists. We were put off going down to Cove Bay after our experience as we weren’t sure we could get out without being stopped again. It’s a shame the local police don’t do something about it Continue reading

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Police

Canadian investor Bob Verdun accosted by Barbados Boscobel Toll Gang

Verdun the latest victim to complain of gang activity against tourists

Last Friday Bob Verdun gave the noon lecture at DLP Headquarters and detailed 15 ways that the Government can improve our tourism product without spending a penny. Journalist Ian Bourne attended and is writing a series of articles on Mr. Verdun’s message. You can read Ian’s first article at his Bajan Reporter online news site.

Unsurprisingly, one of Mr. Verdun’s primary tourism concerns is security, because he knows as we all should that without security the other three “esses” – sun, sea and sand – don’t matter. What is interesting is that Mr. Verdun confessed during his lecture that he, like thousands of others, fell victim to the Boscobel Road Toll Gang and that he does not go to this area of Barbados anymore. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Police, Race, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Police Helpless as hundreds of tourists extorted every month by Boscobel road toll gang

Barbados Police Commissioner has ignored road toll gang for five years

Boscobel Road Toll Gang still frightening tourists – Police Commissioner says “Crime stats are down. Don’t worry, be Happy!”

The Boscobel “Road Toll Gang” have been seriously doing their thing for at least five years now. They 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 then 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. Sometimes they will even open an unlocked door.

The Royal Barbados Police Force are well aware of this bunch of thieves, but have 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.

Hearing that leaves a person kind of gobsmacked, don’t you think?

Commissioner Dottin, Prime Minister Thompson… are you listening to what the tourists are saying?

The leading travel website Trip Advisor has several forums going on the Barbados Boscobel road toll gang where tourists relate some of their stories for others.

Remember folks: this isn’t Barbados Free Press breaking this story. Dozens of tourists have related their experiences at Trip Advisor 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.

Here are a few recent quotes from people in Texas, Ontario and the U.K. as taken from the Trip Advisor website just last week…

Re: Boscobel Road Toll Bandits…..any updates??
Dec 21, 2009, 8:11 AM
Destination Expert for Barbados
“We were unaware of that occurring, but we were actually stopped by them when we drove through that area in October. We wound up giving the guy $10 US and he seemed to be ok with that & we went on our way.

Too bad the police do not crack down on this — the only other time something like this occurred to us was in St. Lucia and we have not been back there since.”

Re: Boscobel Road Toll Bandits…..any updates??
Dec 21, 2009, 8:46 AM
Hi Lois

“so that’s fairly recent. You indicate you were stopped by them. Knowing what you know now, do you think you could have slowed down so as not to run over anyone, yet not stop, thereby avoiding a confrontation?

Also when coming back, if one has run the gauntlet on the way north I wonder, Would they be any more aggressive if they recognize our car?”

Re: Boscobel Road Toll Bandits…..any updates??
Dec 21, 2009, 9:59 AM
“There’s the rub. Even if you avoid them on the way out to North Point you’re going to encounter them on the return. So if they’re mad at you…”

“Another option is to avoid the area, then contact local businesses and authorities and tell them why you will not be spending your dollars in their parish. So far, the police are known to be aware of the situation but have done nothing to stop it. Come to your own conclusions about why that may be so. But clearly, local pressure is the only thing that will end the extortion.”

“Our driver warned us ahead of time to keep the windows up and the doors locked and that he would deal with them, which he did.”

Further Reading at Barbados Free Press

June 17, 2009 Boscobel Road Toll Gang Still Operating Freely In Barbados

September 16, 2008 Barbados Police Helpless In Stopping Boscobel Road Toll Gang

49 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Police, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism