Letters & Opinion

Are we looking in the wrong direction?

Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

When we view criminality, we usually look at the common man’s disruption of the law. It is easy to apprehend someone who the evidence points to and in some cases obtain witness support. But when you see and notice the big project schemes that seem to go-unnoticed, we never classify them or seem to see them as ‘legitimate crime’ because it is done above board and in full view of everyone.

But such persons have more means of creating damage, not only to the society at large, but also creating a selective class of profiteers. I refer to such persons who are contracted to build roads, or bridges, or massive infrastructure that cost millions, but takes forever to be completed, or in the shortest possible time ends up as mold-infested or has structural damage.

Take for example our hospital and airport and highways etc. Such persons know how to bargain at the highest level, secure projects that are priced at top dollars, usually millions, but are skillful at cutting corners, using inferior materials, or hiring non-skilled workers and basically bluff their way through the system and go undetected and not be considered as criminals or as having fraudulent behaviour.

In so many walks of life such persons exist in our society and around the world. They are even found in our police force and government offices; and they band themselves as a corporation and have international status and privileges, and if by chance they get caught, also have the means of getting the right defense team together to fight their case.

I lament the millions forked out of government to deal with all the varying developmental needs, that get siphoned through intellectual bluff. And sadly, acknowledged as legitimate business entities. When they choose not to pay taxes, or not to give the government it’s dues, for operating and being established, they also seek amnesty and privilege concessions by singing the same sad old song.

In the meantime, our jails are filled with small-time hustlers, petty-thieves and low-class individuals.

The police seek material assets to fight crime, but despite all the assets can’t seem to use the necessary techniques to solve the scourge. More employees are requested in all departments, plus advisors and consultants, yet conditions remain the same, or worsen.

The few smart and qualified professionals are the ones who gain the main benefits and profit from the loot, such as the grants and loans sought for national development.  And what is even sadder, their fees and work cost is way-above-average and they use the words “qualified” or “professional” to gain favour.

Why do such white-collar workers never are taken to task baffles me, unless what I see or know is not known to the authorities, or just maybe there is no accountability, or transparency as is often required, or we just do not have a habit of investigating.

Maybe we choose to say nothing and do nothing and so we term it as tradition or modern-day culture.

When the bottom erupts we complain, when the bottom rebels, we condemn them, but what is blatant and in front of our very eyes we choose to ignore. We take forever to convict and detain, and simply say the wheels of justice move slow. We offer enough time for getaways, we even defend their actions; and we often, say that if this guy or that one can get away with it, why not another he or she?

The only profession that no one wants to quit is being a politician, and every high-handed operator seeks to be their friend, or supporter, knowing fully well that is the best way to get their perks, and usually they get the collaboration they desire.

So, when we are talking about crime-solving, just maybe we are looking in the wrong places, or imprisoning the wrong people while the real culprits, we take no notice of.

Food for your thoughts…

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