No word yet on kidnapped Comfort Zone driver By Nigel Williams
Stabroek News
December 6, 2003

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Two days have passed since a driver of the Comfort Zone Taxi Service was abducted by two men who bundled him into a car on Thursday evening on Lamaha Street.

Twenty-five-year-old Quacy Barker of Lot 42 Craig Street Campbellville was taken away in a grey car on Thursday night by two men. No demand for ransom has been made, neither have the abductors contacted the man's family.

Quacy's father, Wilfred Barker told Stabroek News that he had not heard anything concerning his son's whereabouts. "And with the way things are going on in this country he might very well be a dead man."

In a press release, the police said Barker was abducted around 6:15 pm on Thursday while on Lamaha Street, between Vlissengen Road and De Abreu streets.

According to reports, Barker was travelling in one of his friends' cars, HA 9334, which is also registered to the Comfort Zone Taxi Service located in Campbellville. The car was travelling east along Lamaha Street when a silver-grey Toyota Carina overtook it and immediately made a turn facing it.

Stabroek News was told that once the car came head-on into the Comfort Zone cab, one of its occupants, who identified himself as a police officer came out armed with a hand gun and with a cap pulled down on his face, went to the passenger's side of the car and ordered Barker to step out.

Barker complied and the man pushed him into the grey car which sped away leaving Barker's colleague on the site. Barker's colleague made a report to the police station and also to the Comfort Zone base.

It was only last week Friday evening Jason Chap-man, 35, of Sophia, Greater Georgetown, another Comfort Zone Taxi driver, was am-bushed along with a passenger and murdered at Atlanticville, East Coast Demerara.

Yesterday, co-owner of the taxi service, Simone Carew could not be contacted for a comment.

Meanwhile, Barker's father said his abduction might have stemmed from his continued association with the taxi service that has been at the centre of several armed attacks over the past months.

He said that his son had received numerous death threats over the past weeks and it seemed as though he was lucky to have survived so long.

On April 6 this year Barker was the driver of a Comfort Zone Taxi HA 7955 when gunmen who were targeting Mash Day escapee, Shawn Brown's relatives set the car alight after bundling him out of it at Craig Street, Campbellville and dealing him a number of gun butts and kicks. On that same evening, the gunmen torched Brown's parents' home and went on to torch car number two, PHH 5159 outside of the Comfort Zone base.

Wilfred Barker told Stabroek News that since then, his son had been a constant target of men whom he described as "phantoms".

According to the man, his son was not involved in any illegal activity that he knew of, neither had he any brushes with the law.

He said his son had been working with the taxi service for some three years now driving a car which he shared with his brother. Barker, snr, recalled that a man who previously resided in the same street as his son had threatened to kill the young man a few months ago. He said his son was wary of the death threats, but that did not deter him from working with the taxi service. He vowed to do whatever possible to rescue his son, even though he acknowledged that it would be a very difficult task. The man lamented the government's seeming reluctance to address the `phantoms' issue.

Barker's abduction is just one of many that have occurred this year.

Two of the victims who were found at Turkeyen after being abducted were Linden Lloyd Bourne, 27, of East La Penitence. He was abducted on May 18 by a man driving a white car and was found dead the day after with multiple gunshot wounds about his body. Then on June 15, 24-year-old Sherwin Manohar, a taxi driver, was picked up in front of his East La Penitence home and taken to the Turkeyen Access Road where he too was executed.