Monos Island drug trial: Six to serve life in jail

CocaineTWO Trinidadians and four Venezuelans were yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment for trafficking cocaine in what the trial judge said was the “largest amount to ever pass through the courts of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Justice Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, presiding in the Port-of-Spain Third Criminal Court, took her time, more than an hour, as she sent the six guilty people to serve lengthy prison sentences for trafficking 1,749 kilos of cocaine at Monos Island on August 23, 2005.
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‘Escape of big fish alarming’

JUSTICE Alice Yorke Soo-Hon yesterday questioned why the main house at Passy Bay, Monos Island, was not searched following the August 25, 2005 drug bust which netted $700 million in cocaine.

The cocaine, weighing 1,749 kilogrammes, along with seven firearms-two rifles, three pistols , one revolver, one sub-machine gun and 247 rounds of assorted ammunition, were found in the caretaker’s cabin, which is adjacent to the main house.

She said she was puzzled as to why the owners of the house, co-owned by Hue Patrick, Grace Rosemarie Fitzwilliam and Helen Forbes, “never appeared to be interviewed” by the police and “why the ownership of the drugs was never ascertained.

These were just some of the questions posed by Justice Yorke Soo-Hon as she sentenced six men to life imprisonment on Friday for offences arising out of the cocaine bust.

Apart from the questions, Justice Yorke Soo-Hon noted that “investigations fell short and it was astonishing to note that the main house at Passy Bay was not searched…” She also expressed shock at the “little or no surveillance” of the country’s coastline.
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4 thoughts on “Monos Island drug trial: Six to serve life in jail”

  1. Twenty years or more ago, I suggested to people capable of developing the technology( we were working at TELCO at the time) that we needed total surveillance of our shoreline at all times. There was concern expressed about the rights of individuals to go about their business peacefully.

    I suggested it again, through various news columns when three things happened that triggered suspicion. The first that I recall was the Landing in Tobago of three West African, French Speaking people, who had been taken ashore by dingy and dropped off in the night. The second was the boat that ran aground on our south coast. Some techie knowledgeable person had pointed out that boats that are adrift do not get grounded head first, but tail first. I raised the question of what was the boat carrying, and whether the alarm had only sounded when the cargo was ubnloaded.The third time was the case of the floating bodies, and drugs turning up on our eastern shores from Manzanilla to Mayaro.

    We continue to appear to live in a fools’ paradise, where it is obvious that there are big people in the country pulling the strings, manipulating people, and being the high financiers of illegal activities.

    I cannot think of any police service, anywhere else in the world, where a warrant would not have been obtained to search the entire premises, unless of course, big money was paid to not look, and so, not find anything.

    We must reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is a true government, that the people elected, and a false government run by cartels of crooks, whose deep pockets can probably put the oil industry in the shade. These cartels appear to have more real power than the elected government. We must also conclude, however reluctantly, that the government in power knows who those shadow government, the false government, members are, and are powerless to do anything. The big question would be WHY are they powerless and how are the two intertwined??

    If I don’t want to find something, if I am paid off not to find something, I would not look in that direction at all. The drug problem is getting worse. It has always been connected to people on the western part of the island, who own boats, whether yatchies or fishermen, casual visitors by boat, to the western peninsula, and Tobago’s secluded harbour near No Man’s LAnd. Drug dealing is a rich person’s hobby/business. WHY CANT The Government Figure This Out
    And Do Something About It? Go figure.

    One final comment, in the form of a question: Approximately what percent of tourist activity in the last ten years, have been driven by the drug trade, in the form of courier/mules, and private users building up their stash with cheap stuff?

  2. Good job by the judge. She is marvellous in sentencing these drug pushers. She should be their for all crimes and sentencing for rape murder and many other. Asian people are tough on those criminals. Who need criminals in the island. They should go somewhere else and commit their crime. Keep up the good work judge.

  3. It(He) is very hard, I am cousin of one of four Venezuelans and the pain is horrible. It he is so young, and prisoner passes all his life and far from his mother it she) generates eternal sadness. We are not rich, cannot travel. Only a mother can understand this pain.

  4. the as a mother, you will also understand the pain and discomfort other mothers feel when they have to identify their children’s bodies after they are murdered for the drugs your son was selling. You should’ve taught your son to keep his drug peddling in Venezuela so he could spend time in a venezuelan jail instead of a Trinidad jail. Now he will become someone’s “woman”, and you will have a brand new son in law soon. Send some more light skinned venez’s for your black skinned men.

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