Suspect arrested in attack on Jamaican prime minister's brother

Reuters News
Posted: May 06, 2013 4:47 PM

By Horace Helps

KINGSTON (Reuters) - Jamaican police arrested a suspect on Monday in the beating, stabbing and robbery of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's older brother last week.

Andre Foreman, 21, of Kingston, was detailed on charges of aggravated robbery, wounding with intent to kill and illegal possession of a firearm. He is due to appear in court on Friday.

Vincent Simpson, 71, the managing director of the clothing and textiles store, Simpson's Dollar Saver, was held up, beaten and stabbed at the store in volatile downtown Kingston, police said. He was attacked shortly after he arrived at the store early on Thursday morning.

The robbers took J$30,000 ($310), a television set, a pistol and other items from Simpson, who remains in a Kingston hospital, police said. His condition has improved and he is expected to be released from the hospital soon, they said.

Two other men were involved in the attack and remain at large, police said.

The prime minister, 67, visited her brother in the hospital before heading to Venezuela to meet with President Nicolas Maduro to discuss the PetroCaribe oil deal, which allows Caribbean states to buy oil from Venezuela at favorable rates and easy payment plans. She returned to Jamaica early on Monday.

Jamaica, the largest of the English-speaking Caribbean islands, is riddled with crime and violence, especially in the capital, Kingston, and the western tourist city of Montego Bay.

The island of 2.7 million people has recorded in excess of 1,000 murders annually over the last decade.

(Editing by Jane Sutton and David Brunnstrom)