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Taking a Decisive Bite out of Crime

It is time again for our nation to take a lead on an issue of global importance but has repeatedly affected our country? I am talking about White collar crimes and the criminals that perpetuate and encourage them. If I am not mistaken, it was Trinidad and Tobago under the auspices of our former PM and President Mr. ANR Robinson, that got the global community to take the giant steps towards dealing with serious crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes via the creation of the International Criminal Court . Today some 106 countries are on board in supporting the ICC Treaty in principle, even with its various flaws and weaknesses. This I would suggest to fellow citizens is a most commendable job for a small country like ours, and gives one good reason to be proud, irrespective of the many perennial doomsayers that habitually takes sadistic pleasures in tarnishing it at every conceivable opportunity. My point is we are nicely poised to take the lead once more as we grapple with the growing menace of crime in our country.

What exactly am I rambling about, some might want to know? It is no secret that violent criminals have been making a mockery of our laws and institutions and are virtually holding our entire nation at ransom for quite some time. There are those that would say it began on August 31 1962, some may say 1970 Black power upheavals
and the fact that Shah, Rex Lassal and other military henchmen did not experience the hangman noose for their part in politically unsavory actions learned at the prestigious British coup Academy,Sandhurst . I prefer to point at 1990 and the aftermath, as our nation was placed under attack and siege then criminals were allowed to walk away freely because of some stupid, ludicrous interpretation of the anachronistic British Privy Council Law Lords. However I stand corrected on this score, and could be wrong. A pardon is a pardon, and it matters not how it was obtained. Why did I not go to Hugh Wodden law school, via Toronto or Maimi , or Oxbridge Law school?
Quite a few of our politicians it seems are prepared to throw their hands up in despair as they attempt to grapple with this societal crime menace that is plaguing our country.
. The business community is justifiably agitated, many foreigners with business interest or tourist adventurism in mind are concerned, and citizens both at home and abroad are simply disgusted. Obviously, such a situation cannot continue into perpetuity. It certainly does not require four A’ levels or a UWI degree to recognize that no security can equate to slow development for this Republic .The time for action therefore is now, as we get tough on blue collar violent criminals and simultaneously tell white collar bozos that business as usual in Trinidad and Tobago is over. We do not care who you are, and how much it cost us in pathetic appeals to the Privy Council. No one should be exempted from tough criminal prosecution simply on the grounds of race, class, ethnicity, gender, or relations. I hope my point is coming through loud and clear.

For the uninitiated in the various criminal justice jargons, blue collar crimes are those that tend to involve violence, mostly by people in the lower strata of society, and usually inflicted against persons or property. They make up over 99% of our current prison population in sweet T&T. Generally these criminals tend to get arrested, punished quicker, and more severely by most societies, and the reasons are very obvious. Many simply lack the means to avail themselves of competent defense so as to obtain true justice. The expression white collar crime was first used in 1949 by Edwin H Sutherland a sociologist. He defines it as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation." Understandably their fortunes have been great in that they achieve double benefits for their crime. These are huge financial gains and influence, limited punishments and condemnations. Our country is fast taking the lead in terms of criminal activities in the world today, in proportion to its relatively small size and wealth. What are often downplayed are the levels of white collar criminals that are roaming our shores as opposed to the blue collar ones. After a while the lines become blurred , our little twin island becomes tarnished, as the fortunate few ,like ‘thieves in the night,’ finally pack their bags and run to secure distant shores with relatives and our prime assets in tow.

Conscious of this we’ll take the lead in rooting out these white color criminals. I believe that they can be just as, or even more dangerous than the average blue collar violent thugs. The latter often do it out of necessity the former out of greed. Unlike common behaviors, I have no intention at this juncture to do any finger pointing to particular ethnic or racial group, or political party to lay blame for the upsurge in white or blue collar crimes that has occurred and dominated our society through the years, as I believe that many across the board have dirty hands. My admonition is to deal with what
is before us today , as attempts are finally take a lead in cleaning up our own house and take this astute policy global.
Let me just say for the record how appalled I am at the undue delay to deal swiftly with the matter with our present Opposition leader. I think in the interest of justice we should expedite the matter in order that the respected leader knows his fate. Is he going to serve 50 years in jail along with drastic fines , perhaps confiscation of property and possible withholding of pension for his distinctive roll in past corruption scandal or not? Enough already, Justice Delayed is not a good precedent. Let’s really show the world what we stand for in our country when we say that each and “every creed and race will fine an equal place.” In my country, if you are a crook that thrives on corruption our illustrious law enforcement bodies are going to hunt you down , catch you, and make you pay for your crime via open and fair trials even as your high paid lawyer cry foul because we did not catch the last thousand big fishes.

To prove that Trinidad does not discriminate when it come to justice and the white collar criminals we are putting into place mechanisms to finally indict the coward Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls that contributed to the tarnishing of the good name of our country when he failed to testify in the case that would have droved the nail in the coffin of another corrupt white collar criminal. Once more let me place on record for myself and the appreciative nation including all the blue collar criminals , our country is about to show leadership once more as she attempt to take this enormous bite out of crime. There shall be no discrimination when it comes to the administration of justice, Chief Magistrate, Chief Justice, Political figure head, big honcho Credit Union businessman, or common violent criminal watch out.
My heart at the moment goes out to the many good citizens across the nation that lost millions of dollars as a result of the corrupt practices of members of the Hindu Credit Union. All I can say have no fear; we are going after the board members and families like a Bengal tiger to recover all stolen financial assets, whether in Miami, Toronto or Gloucester. Thanks are due in part to a true, loving patriot and future chief state witness Mr. Sat Marahaj- of Maha Sabha fame-, for giving us a heads up about these obviously evil criminals.
How dare anyone claim that Trinidad and Tobago-a mere Third world country-cannot make a contribution to the world at large? First the ICC and now this aggressive stance of white collar criminals, I believe that this is a step in the right direction. Can this be patented? Trinidad is nice, and remains a paradise!

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