21 MEN FREED

By Alexander Bruzual
September 13, 2011 – newsday.co.tt

State of EmergencyIt was an exuberant moment in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Eighth Court yesterday morning when charges against 21 men accused of being gang members were dismissed by Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar.

The courtroom erupted in loud cheering, clapping, and words of thanks to both God and the Chief Magistrate after it was announced that the 21 men were free to go.

Court and Process police officers were forced to step in to quell the loud reactions of the relatives and the accused men, reminding them that they were in a courtroom. However, these warnings were initially ignored as most persons found it difficult to contain their excitement.

Newton Pollard, Gerard Samuel, Nigel Tridge, Akeem Guerra, Anthony Darmanie, Christopher Richardson, Derek Miller, Atiba Gorkin, Andy Issac, David Williams, Kevin Myler, Jules Eligan, Edwin Trotman, Akeil Ash, Winston Wilson, Jabari Martinez, Anthony Armstrong, Simba Cobas, Kareem Myer, Ronald Cobham, and Akiel Joseph, all returned to court yesterday morning for another court hearing of their cases.

They were arrested in Port-of-Spain during a police exercise on August 23, two days after the declaration of the state of emergency on August 21, and charged for being members of the Nelson Street Gang.

They were charged in accordance to section 5(1) of the Anti-Gang Act 10:11, which states that:

“It is hereby declared that gangs are unlawful and any person — (a) who is a member of a gang commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for ten years and on any subsequent conviction on indictment to imprisonment for twenty years.”

Any person charged under this Act would be remanded in custody until their matter was completed, or until the passing of 120 days after which they could apply for bail.

The men, who were between ages 19 and 63, were represented by a team of attorneys including Ian Brooks, Mario Merritt, Vince Charles, and Criston J Williams.

At yesterday’s hearing, it was a tense moment as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard and State Prosecutor George Busby walked into the courtroom and announced they would be representing the State.

Gaspard told the court that he had perused the relative files concerning the persons charged for being members of the Nelson Street Gang, and after careful deliberation he was unable to find any items of evidential value for prosecution against the men.

“In these circumstances, the prosecution will not be able to produce any evidence against these men and as a result we will not be proceeding with these matters,” Gaspard announced.

Cheers immediately erupted in the court from the accused and their relatives in the public gallery.

After a while, when order was restored in the court, Ian Brooks was the first defence attorney to thank the court for Gaspard’s intervention.

“I must thank the DPP for his role, for what he has done here. He has brought an end to such a sad occasion in Trinidad and Tobago,” Brooks noted. Similar statements of thanks came from Charles and Williams on behalf of their clients.

However, it was attorney Mario Merritt who, while thanking the DPP for his intervention, asked Gaspard to exercise similar expedience in relation to other persons charged under the Anti-Gang Act.

“There are other persons in similar situations who are also suffering. Hundreds of persons have been charged under this Act since the implementation of the state of emergency, and they are suffering, their families are suffering, as they are charged and incarcerated (under the Act) without any evidence,” Merritt noted.

After further submissions from defence attorneys, the Chief Magistrate, addressed the 21men, “The DPP is discontinuing the case against you. The charges have been dismissed. You are free to go.”

Within ten minutes of the announcement, the 21 men were released and were happily hugging their relatives and attorneys outside the court’s entrance along St Vincent Street. “All I can say is thank God right now. They held my son for no reason, and then all of a sudden we heard he was charged for being a gang member when he wasn’t. Then to come to court and hear that his freedoms were gone,” said one woman outside the court.

“They charge him under some law where he couldn’t get bail, and then they only keep adjourning the matter over and over. It was heart wrenching for my family, but it is so good to know that it is finally over, and that justice does work,” she added.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,147139.html

15 Responses to “21 MEN FREED”


  • 21 freed of gang charges
    Scenes of mass jubilation echoed throughout the halls of the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday as 21 Port-of-Spain residents were freed of gang-related charges.

    21 charged under Anti-Gang law released after 3 weeks in jail

    Ex-detainee complains of police ‘harassment’

    …McDonald: I am not surprised
    “I AM not surprised. This whole State of Emergency will blow up in the Government’s face and they will be left very embarrassed.”

    ‘Have evidence first’
    OPPOSITION CHIEF Whip Marlene McDonald yesterday questioned the effectiveness of the state of emergency to deal with crime, following the release of 21 men from Nelson Street, Port- of-Spain which falls within her Port-of-Spain constituency.

    ‘Worst treatment ever at Golden Grove Prison’
    Happy and relieved were the words and emotions expressed by 21 men who were freed of charges of being gang members yesterday.

  • “The business of addressing gang violence is part research and part experiential; it requires being rigorous about results while being open to improvisation.” LA Times

    “http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-newton-column-gangs-20110912,0,7917253.column

    So you folks think that gangs violence ,and criminality , the result of social deprivations,psychological despair , and neglect ,are unique to T&T , and worst yet ,can only be eradicated , solely by implementation of top down, 12 th century thinking, huh? Well I have information for you all,and it is that such ain’t true.
    Yeah we know civil society , and politically progressive mechanisms, along with maltreatment of historically despised , desperate folks , are the means used by mamby pamby criminal cuddling cowards. Is anyone aware that the elections ended some 2 years ago?
    Continue to cuddle your white color crooks, and bandits , while looking to castrate , and send to the hang man noose ,every kid that commit’s a misdemeanor , as it worked in the criminology theory books of Jim Crow America, as well as other racially insensitive , class exploitative havens across Europe , Asia,Latin America,Afrika,Australia ,Russia, and Canada.
    Your call T&T.
    Hold on to this naive , head in the sand ostrich -like mindset , that it’s only kinky head , illiterate mental degenerates from the East West corridors , are PNM dominant dung heaps , are engaging in destructive gangs ,as members of our more culturally solid races , tribes and ethnic groups are in UWI, or the myriad of other high end foreign Universities abroad studying to be doctors , lawyers , and computer experts. The first lesson I learn in my sociology classes many moons ago in sweet T&T , was to ‘define your concepts.’
    You call Afrikan thugs ,gangs, others call Islamist budding Jihadist educated in Madrases across Trinidad , Guyana , and Pakistan, something else. Still another definition is used for business tycoons , who work their exploitative , thieving magic, at the golf clubs , and ethnically exclusive social clubs , another name.
    Such a tragedy, 25 year old to have wet behind de ears ,Israel Khan Jr, in charge of our national Prisons, and dis European Canadian ,in charge of our Police service, while hard working folks who kept our society in line for decades are cast by the wayside.
    Yet folks are curious as to why that clueless ever-ready bunny, political imbecile ,call Patrick Manning ,is still looking so attractive to delusional voters across our nation, as Hazel continues to find ways to recharge his batteries, and his political fans await his political resurrection , 40 years after his entry into politics,huh? Sorry Dr Rowley, wrong color, and birthplace.
    We wish our people well, as recidivism continues unabated , due to the skewed efforts of non visionary, political peons. Oh yes , is dem criminal foreigners that is messing up the place, even as we have no program, in place for the locals. I am starting to hate dis land of mine, seriously. Den, maybe , dats what the political barbarians desire, yes?
    I change my mind. Much luv to T&T.

  • Here is an interesting view:

    Turn backs on bling culture
    Tuesday, September 13 2011

    THE EDITOR: Former US Presidential candidate the Rev Jesse Jackson said (November 1993), when he is walking down the streets at nighttime and he hears footsteps behind him if, when he turns around and he sees the footsteps belong to a white person, he is relieved; if, however, the person is a black male, he becomes concerned, frightened like hell.

    Rev Jackson made this stunning revelation on the night his mother was robbed by some black youths on the first night she had relocated to a new nighbourhood in her bid to escape the repeated robberies she had been victim to in her former “black” community. Pot to the fire?

    Jackson went on to vigorously chide young blacks for their deviant lifestyle, and put the blame squarely on their shoulders for society’s perception of them as dangerous and parasitic, and that all the negativity they attracted unto themselves they brought it upon themselves by their own actions.

    That was Jesse Jackson calling a spade a spade in 1993, after “black” crime had literally come home to him, and even though most of America perceived him as the foremost black demagogue. Then came Bill Cosby in his famous Pound Cake speech, chiding black youths for the clothes they wear — of young black males wearing their pants down pass their cracks; and of the young black females wearing their skirts high up to their cracks as well.

    Cosby ties in these rebellious ways of black youths to their failure to pursue successful careers, lives.

    When, therefore, young blacks in our society seem to be targeted, seem discriminated against, it is not just a Trini phenomenon, not of PP vs PNM supporters, but it is really something that seems stereotypical of an ethnic group throughout the world — who needs to take a look at and should undertake the necessary self-examination, if they are to rise above themselves, their shortcomings, their negative profiling.

    The brutal candour of Jackson and Cosby is seen as important first steps towards the reformation of young blacks; but while these two towering black Leaders dare call a spade a spade, here in Trinidad, some black leaders take a regressive, opposite position: they speak of young blacks being arrested for criminal activity as victimisation, as unfair, unwarranted and racist.

    Our black leaders might lack the progressive thinking of Jackson and Cosby that would help them transcend their balisier patch mentality.

    What they should be saying instead of seeing racism in everything is, hey, people, do an about turn, seek a life of hard-work, thrift, responsibility and turn your backs on the bling culture you now embrace and obtain via the barrel of a gun, and only then we could legitimately defend you.

    But because the name of the game for the PNM is purely a power play, they are unwilling to call a spade a spade.

    L Siddhartha Orie

  • This is called Arrested For Being Black, a phenomenon that has been going on since Emancipation, in 1838, but which is reaching its zenith under this government. You round up the Children of Africa,en masse, hold them in cells for weeks, long enoufgh so that they would not be able to keep the jobs they had, or lose the little cash based business they owned, and then find that you have no evidence to hold them. You are freeing, Mr. DPP, twenty-one very angry men, with twenty-one families injured by these accusations.

    In the older days, T.U.B. Butler , who looked like these men, was arrested for trying to organize a union. The Brits. did not use the word gang then, it was not taught by The Americans as a standard way of castigating African people.

    The anger that would come after the jubilation would need to be handled with sensitivity. Let no police officer, especially those who, out of uniform, would look just like these guys, try to go hunting for them on other pretexts. I know policemen do this. I got it from them, family and friends. When the innocent win, the police feel kind of stupid, and they spend endless hours trying to”get them”on something else. Let it go,please, both sides, and go after the real crooks, those wearing suits and sneaky, oily smiles. You know who they are Gibbs, you know who they are Sandy. Go after them and let the children of Africa thrive in the land their ancetors cleared with their bare hands and the simpliest of tools.Remember SAndy and JAck, that out of ffice, you would be old men looking like the fathers of these men.

    Those who steal from us are often the first to yell “Thief”, and start chasing some poor young man, others join in without thinking, because of conditioning. They steal our oil and gas, they steal from us in overcharges for everything, they steal our land and our young children, and they conspire to put out men in jail leaving their families unprotected.
    Did someone say this is a democracy?

    The twenty-one are glad, I am pissed. How many more are lying idle in jail, while their families waste away?

    • “This is called Arrested For Being Black, a phenomenon that has been going on since Emancipation, in 1838, but which is reaching its zenith under this government.”

      Yawwn, if they were white I suppose they would be arrested for being white, or brown arrested for being brown. However being Linda it is another cry of victimization for her black skin. Please spare us your diatribe.

      It is not unusual for people to be arrested and released. It happens and only the media turns it into a big story. My brother was arrested and released. It was no big deal.

  • “Did someone say this is a democracy?”

    It surely is a democracy, otherwise these “innocent” men would still be in jail.
    It is reassuring to see that the system still works. One wonders though, who is responsible for the nightly gunfire on Nelson street before the SOE?

    • “It surely is a democracy, otherwise these “innocent” men would still be in jail.” We are happy that ‘you alls’ finally recognize that democracy is alive and well in our country, but hopefully that it did not commence with the elevation of Queen K,dis Canadian Police Chief, and her PP bunch ,to the top of the political food chain,by the voters,two years ago.
      No indeed. Had democracy not existed ,you and others would be visiting former Sandhurst coup school cadets Raffique Shah’s grave ,starting four decades ago, because of the fact that an execution bullet would be plunged into the back of his, and Rex,s head, for their uncivil youthful , though criminal ,folly.
      Had democracy not existed , Basdeo ,and his one time CJ pal would be sitting in jail for their disgraceful actions, as we finally give the middle finger to anachronistic London Law lords, bias , and or hell bent to protecting the image of two former students, and now howling ,suspect victimized nationals.
      If democracy had not existed , the entire Muslim faith would have been banned from my country , for their complicit role in the emboldenment of fake Islamist ,Lennox Phillip , aka,Yasin Abu Bakr ,de former horse police ,football goalie, Canadian student, turn insurrectionist / criminal.
      Yeah mamboo,we know that brother was arrested and released, which to you is now no big deal, but tell us,if he was arrested two years ago , and released would it have ben such, and why?
      A bigger question mamboo for you and fellow talking point brayers. Who exactly ,are the brown people of Trinidad and Tobago you refer to,as opposed to the black skin ones, pray tell us?
      Please do not insult us by saying the ‘Australian Aboriginal looking folks,’some of which ancestors ,were raped by savages ,who came over the caucus mountains, when none of their kids,where ‘unfortunate’ to get on dem ships headed for far off places such as Fiji,Guyana,Sri Lanka, East,and Southern Africa.
      Ahhh, how it feels good exposing ,delusional frauds, with a distorted notion of self , versus the other!
      Almost catharsis.
      Thanks Trinicenter.

  • Lord have mercy! It seems that no matter how I warn you guys to “stay in your lane ,” ‘is the same ole monkey pants ehhh T-Man?’ Can someone please tell me why dis comedian, Canadian resident, and, or , European wannabe ,called T-Man,in efforts to prove another of his opaque points , is parading along this here information highway , citing Jesse Jackson , and Bill Crosby ,as some moral arbiter ,within the global village?
    No T-Man,Afrikan folks ,are not a bunch of criminal minded imbeciles, while maybe, you along with all your South Asians ancestral cousins remain the peaceful , law abiding ,civilize bunch , along with ‘you alls.’ much adored ,far away European people?
    You got to do better than that my friend , as we might be grateful for all the good ,that these two, once relevant guys ,might have done for Afrikan folks, but unlike you and similar immoral cretans , we would not hesitate to expose them for what they are underneath all the filler.
    Mere similarly flawed ,community pimps ,that have rode the backs of their people to stardom ,who forgot that we the astute, are aware as to how they got an initial leg up, but who would not hesitate to drop anyone dat looks like dem , at the drop of a hat once the situation warrants it, aka , it further their cause.
    It was the same Bill Crosby who was forced to use his social influence ,to try and tarnish the character ,of his own secret ,outside daughter, that he was supporting on the side , before his own inside child was murdered like a dog, on the highway , not by a black young savage , but a white , racist immigrant , who wanted to deprive him of his Mercedes. The same fool who is now condemning hip hop culture , was along with Sidney Poitier making all dem gender , and racially demeaning , boring ,empty blacksploitation flims ,back in de day.
    As for Jesse? We have the evidence from his FBI pals , as to why MLK Jr was encouraged to come out on the balcony without a tie on,as opposed to Jesse on that fateful day. Nuff said.
    We know why he wanted “to cut the nuts off,” the new political enchalada called block Barrack Obama, while talking on a live mike, to similar Afrikan idiot , that saw no compunction ,in selling him out for the media alligators.
    This fool should be thanking his wife for not cleaning him out financially ,after 100 years of marriage , when he made another bastard kid like himself, with one of his close secretaries, thus carrying on the stupid , chiefly post slavery , Afrikan legacy ,of babying another out of wedlock kid, with a desperate woman.
    It is therefore T-Man , these two characters who needs to look into the mirror , and quit their condescending pontification to desperate inner city kids , left out of the socio economic pie , unlike Jesse Jackson Jr,who was able to run as an Illinois Congressman ,on Pappa’s coattail. then try to use their political clout to buy more power from other corrupt politicians , excluded from the less palatable papa.
    Today’s youth do not listen to these guys , as they likewise would not to many like minded local alleged leaders. What we need is a shifting of the thinking, such as sharing of our economic spoils , encouragement towards hidden dreams,and provision of opportunities for all of our kids – and no not eloquent , all aha we aha one family ,who serve de same god , two days before the election. In essence , do your country a favor by encouraging your leaders to do the right thing.
    If your cross country daughter living inToronto should be all she can be , so should every kid in T&T, irrespective of who her, or his parent voted for , locality , social class from which he emerged, and of course , color of skin , race , and ethnicity. Hopefully those cultural bandits did not change our anthem to include the fine words of Oxbridge aspiring actor, turn Trade Union lawyer politician, Basdeo Panday ,who proudly proclaimed that “politics has a morality of its own.”
    ‘From Couva To Signall Hill, ARIMA TO Sans Souci…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFQA6KsAPho

  • Dear Tman, since you hear the gunfire in East Port of Spain, and I obviously don’t, could you be setting them off yourself to give these people a bad name?
    As for Arrested for Being Black” here is an education for Mamoo: a Jamaican guy in California, USA, sued a small town for exactly that, and won.This was some years ago, probaby before you were born. He had been seen walking in the town, suit and briefcase, quite a few times. No one knew who he was, and so, they called the police who arested him for being a “suspicious character”. He sued, on the grounds that an American citizen, can freely walk the streets of Any town, free of harrassment by police and community, without having to prove who he is or why he was there.
    The courts upheld his right to walk the streets. Now, had it been at night, he would have been quietly snatched and “disappeared” but he chose Sunday afternoons at two for his walks.
    Arrested For Being Black is a real phenomenon.When a relative of mine intervened in the quarrel between his white mother-in-law, and her husband, he had to remind them that if the police were summoned to this Southern US State, they would arrest him first, or shoot him, the peacemaker, because he is a 6 foot seven, African guy. He reminded them that he was never coming back to refree any fights, and left. They were stunned at his daring to speak truth. This phenomenon is seen all over the world where Africans and others live together. The real criminals know the police have been sensitized to “go for the Black guy”.

    And Tman, if the police were looking for wife murderers and child rapists in Central, and had swooped down on a whappie game and arrested everybody on suspicion of having murdered their wives or raped some child, I would have been equally loud in condemning that act. I have no relatives in East POS, but I do have two mixed-race nephews living in Central.

    • By having a curfew and keeping these guys in prison meant that they fell under State protection for awhile. If there was no state of emergency and no state protection, who knows how many of these young men would have been dead by now. Nelson street is not an easy place to live…

  • “Nelson street is not an easy place to live,” as it is ladened with 63 year old gang bangers .
    The stupidity of 3rd world thinking , is quite astounding folks, but dey say ‘a mind is a terrible thing to waste,’ and this might explain how insensitive creatures such as mamboo-and we can slip in his cousin T-man,into the mix – was able to slip through the crack.
    As we contemplate the short term success ,or failures of prevailing security measures ,here is some more important food for thoughts, which I freely share , as I remain an optimistic global humanist.
    “The Ignorant know nothing.The Provincial know only the perspective of their own community. Traditionalists hear new ideas, but cling to those of their ancestors. Conformists learn of alternative perspectives, but embrace only the most conventional. Zealots know of other ideas, but accept only what they already believe. The Confused stumble across many perspectives, but don’t know what to believe. It is only the Explorers, the Curious Students, the Free-thinkers, the Scholars who seek out many perspectives and thoroughly investigate each one to dig out its truth.”
    — Randy Schutt, Inciting Democracy

  • I think the SOE people should round up all those drivers in Central who “does take a lil rum” and then go barrelling down the highway, and killing people includig themselves. They should build a “potential drunk” jail in Central and round them up every Friday evening for safekeeping. You have no idea how many lives would be saved from dying a fiery death near the Chaguanas overpass. Might even save a few wives from being chopped for quarelling about the school fees spent on rum, so no books for de chile. What you think Mamoo, should the government adopt this bright idea?

  • So Mamoo, your brother was arrested and released and it was no big deal. What happen, you all were not on speaking terms? Neither his arrest nor his release mattered? It had to be he did you something real hurtful. So if that is your response to your brother’s arreast, then whose misfortune do you care about.

    No wonder you write the diatribe you do.

  • “The couple’s four children Babita, 21, Anita, 19, Usha, 18 and Rocky, 15, have not been doing well since the gruesome death of their parents within hours of each other.” Newsday 09/14/2011
    Hey kids , you are the lucky ones, for you are still alive today, unlike thousands of Indo Trini kids, caught in similar, criminal barbarian social prisons ,as alluded to, so eloquently ,by Madame L, to one oh dem immoral, culturally driven social bandit. Did you know that according to WHO 2008 data,T&T ranked in the top 40 of the world’s highest suicide rates by country? Thanks Denzil for a fine article on the subject. Is anyone else apart from Madame L , myself , and this writer ,equally outraged?

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/columnist/2011/07/31/suicide-high-response-low
    Hey kids , we see the curfew is now extended to your area finally,even as the jury is out as to the merit of such ,since it could not have prevented the tragedy that occurred between your parents.
    Simply dust your self off , hold your heads up , and try as best you can, to deal with the traumatic aftereffects, and stigma, which is inevitable.
    Glad to see that Queen K , view herself as the next regional Iron Lady, as she continue this war part , and we hope the ends justify the means used.
    Now I know this does not translate too well , in the media , and the polls, but if she hope’s to achieve a better legacy, then maybe by the end of her reign , we can also see a more coherent policy, that is aimed at protection of women, and children, across our country,along with provision of a social safety net , by her government ,or via support of civil society institutions with that mindset,which can help put future generations, on the part to being productive human beings.
    You see folks we have these donkey ,rear end brayers, that parade over this here blogosphere, spewing that bile of hate ,while selectively singling out a small segment of the population as evil criminals , while pretending to care about their own.
    They naively assume therefore, that the few -well known / obvious -‘patriotic ,progressive , global humanists,’ that takes the time ,to put in our 2 cents , on prevailing realities in our country , possess the same destructive mindset as they do. Such hogwash!
    Tell dem for us , that love of country goes beyond such narrow thinking.Love of country calls for plain talk and honesty.
    A word of caution to Queen K. There are only two things one can remember of the late Indira Gandhi, and that was her enforced sterilization program ,on chiefly poor Indian women, and her unnecessary war with a historically neglected ,Sikh community , who simply sort equal rights ,as ignored ,under a Hindu dominated society. Her reaction? Granting of a green light for a military raid by the army on a religious day , to their sacred Golden Temple, which led to the murder of an influential Sikh leader Bhindranwale, as well as that of 1,000 devotees. We know how that finally ended.
    For all her potential,charisma,high educational, and family pedigree,the only thing we can recall of Benazir Bhutto tenure,is the corruption that thrived during her political stewardship ,with her Mr 10% husband at her side, double dipping, at will, into every deal made by her government.
    We likewise know how that ended ,as the crook is now in charge of the Pakistan hen house, while awaiting their son, to finish college in Britannia , and come home to fulfill mama’s pledge via her will,where he too will suffer the same fate as Grandpa Zulfikar Ali Buttho ,and mama.
    The Caribbean Iron Lady mama Eugenia Charles? Ok,she disbanded the army of her country ,and along with Tom Adams,while sipping tea at the Hilton with George Chambers during a CARICOM meeting,between frequent trips to the restroom ,told Papa Ronald Reagan,to attack democratic Grenada, with full force ,for 30 pieces of Caribbean Basin Initiative, silver,which disappeared before we can say banana season , and Costa Rica Fruit farmers lobby.
    The English Iron Lady Thatcher? An overkill , testosterone ladened war, to gain 50 meters of real estate called the Falklands Islands, against Argentina, abuse of union workers,demoting Britain’s sovereignty , by holding up Ronald Reagan, and G.H Bush,respective jockstraps for decades, kicked out of office on her butt,and her crooked son’s mastermind, to overthrow an Afrikan government- proving that the apple,don’t often fall too far from the tree. Sorry Mikilah Panday, you are therefore doomed politically,since Trinis all subscribe to that theory.
    As we take the tentative steps towards sustainable development, let us continue to wish all 1.3 million and counting, of our people well, be they strong , weak, old, young recently arrived immigrants ,just released alleged criminals ,prospective bandits, and those who can trace their family tree back to a ship.
    Long live the Republic of T&T , and Queen K,again , remember , it’s your call.
    Sometimes you got to follow your heart, and ignore tripe told to you by dem clueless , money grabbing ,policy wonks, and fake experts.
    De voting public , did not sign on for this . Make my neo feminist friend ,Madame L proud , as she has great faith in women leaders. As for me the pragmatic , global humanist? I judge folks on a case by case basis.

  • DRUG BUSTS:Those of us who have been writing on these blogs since some others were in diapers, have consistently pointed out that the drugs are coming in, in containers, at Pt. Lisas.Guns can be shipped in commercial sized jars of mayonaise I was told by a Belizean acquaintance. Now, another major drug bust at Pt. Lisas makes the news. Somebody is listening.If Customs Officers know what the seal for “Chicken parts” originating in the US looks like, it would be easy to detect which containers have been tampered with.
    Now, this is what I know about container shipping: A seal is put on at the point of departure, which is to remain untouched until the point of receipt, or when opened by customs at any point, with reasonable cause .(It goes for private containers of household good for returning emigres.)

    If a seal is tampered with, the prudent thing to do would be to follow the container to its destination, and see if the owner of the official cargo complains about what has been added. As it is, that Central Businessman, a recurring decimal in all of this, can say he did not know a thing about its being there. That proceduare that I suggested, would have been a good way also, to clean up ground crew at the port. Some will know which containers to “not touch”. I suggested to Brig. SAndy, by letter recently, that all of Piarco airpor should be under 24-7 CATV srveillance, including the parking lots. This may seem to costa alot, initially, but it will pay off.
    I know now that those in authority are reading my comments. The north Coast and Pt. Lisas have been targetted. The two other major entrepots are the Caroni Swamp/Bird sanctuary, and the yachts in Tobago’s waters. There are already radio beacon towers in Tobago,which can can become multi-use facilities in terms of other surveillance equipment attached.

    Tell me again, authorities, what procedures are in place to be sure that Mr. Big’s stash is burned, and does not end up back on the street?
    We seem a tad closer to identifying one of the big shots in the drup transshipment business. Is is too late to supply the Jamaican authorities with fingerprints taken from the bags, and the tampered seal?

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