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A Back Door Left Open, Encourages Thieves
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2005

by Linda E. Edwards

Disturbing news this, an Israeli national found living illegally in the forest of the Northern Range. This follows hard on the heels of some foreigner, supposedly in the know, saying that there is no terrorist threat in Trinidad. It comes dangerously close to the series of unsolved bombings in Port-of-Spain, and allegedly copy-cat explosions in Tobago. Thus, this strange incident should make all of Trinidad sit up and take notice.

How did he come to be living with this couple, who later turned him in? Where did he meet them? How long has he known them? If they are recent acquaintances, who introduced them to each other? Had he already overstayed his legal time in Trinidad and Tobago when they began to give him shelter? Did he ask, or was it offered? And if it was offered, what was the inducement? And how in the hell did he come by an immigration stamp, the property of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago? Such a stamp cannot be bought on the open market, so somebody provided him with it, for what consideration, may one ask?

There should be such an outcry at this preposterous situation, that the silence seems deafening.

So, let me make some noise from afar, and hope that it will echo like a Tom-tom, the talking drums of Africa, until everyone is roused to indignation at this situation.

First off, our country is too easy to get into, and some people are dotish enough to harbour illegals in a mistaken idea of where their loyalties should lie. Take, first, the case of the three African nationals from Sierra Leone or some other war torn country who were found "wandering" in Tobago, put ashore there by a boat from some ship that stole in under cover of darkness, and just as stealthily slipped away. I had asked then whether it was not possible that they could have been bringing in a small nuclear warhead, tons of drugs or arms and ammunition. They were found with nothing, but that means nothing. No one saw or heard the ship that dropped them either.

Then there was the case of some stow-aways from the Dominican Republic who were being hidden at Point Lisas by some dotish, anti-establishment dock workers. The papers reported that some had loaned them hard hats and safety vests to help with their disguise, even as the police were looking for them. Those dock workers are possibly still working at Point Lisas.

Then there were the Venezuelan women at the "Club" read that as whorehouse in Central, the Santa Maria was it called? It also called itself a hotel. These women had no working papers but had entered the country from a region where much other illegal cargoes come, namely drugs and guns. But there they were, dancing and sexing up the locals, these delightful butter-skins from down the main, and too many people thought that was OK. They were sent back to Venezuela leaving whatever they had brought with them, quite possibly some other strain of a sexually transmitted disease. Quite possibly too, they are already back in business in Central, where the mayor is so afraid of crime that he wants every businessman to be legally armed by the state. This Mr. Mayor has never expressed a word about the illegal foreigners on his doorstep, who are contributing to crime.

There was also the case of the Grenadian who had lived in the Biche forest for more than thirty years. He was treated as a hero by some. Some wanted to give him immediate TnT citizenship. Crazy. Where else in the world would that happen?

All of these incidents point to a lackadaisical attitude towards national safety and security, as if we are a low fence that anyone can jump over or piss up against.

Now, back to the Israeli. If he is Russian born, he is, possibly, neither African looking nor Indian looking. I have a friend whose child is half Russian half African, but he is only two, so its not him hiding in the Northern Range. So, how does a white man, from Russia, traveling on an Israeli passport get into the hills of Arouca, and according to the papers, daily leave with a heavy bag? What's in the bag, guns smuggled in? Through Blanchicheusse? Matelot? Las Cuevas? What is his background in tropical mountaineering that he can cope so well in this strange terrain? Who trained him for this and for what purpose? If he is an Israeli national, he is a Jew. Only Jews can be foreign- born citizens of Israel. Is he here to spy on the local Muslim community because Israel fears some stirrings there that they need to keep an eye on? Is he here to watch, or assassinate someone? The tall Muslim One always in trouble with the establishment, maybe? Who sent him? Russia? The USA? Israel? What work did he do before he came here that he could afford a holiday in Trinidad and Tobago?

It is the inaffordability of a holiday here that has tripped up the Greek housewife, the Dutchwoman, the hotelier from England, the French truck-driver and other drug mules now doing time in TnT. They were watched and caught in the departure lounge as it were. This man was not departing. It's only that his hosts thought something was going on, says the papers, and turned him in. Now, what caused his hosts to be suspicious? He stopped paying? It would be interesting to know what exactly they know. Who else may be harbouring someone that they have not yet turned in? Was the missing Muslim from the Middle East who was allegedly hiding in south ever found?

What are the penalties for illegally harbouring a foreign national in our republic? Could this be considered an act of treason?

Our vulnerability lies not only in our long and unsupervised coastline, but in the gullibility of our people, and the sheer craven nature of some. They would do anything to make a buck. Some, no doubt would sell their country down the river if the price is right.

There is too much going on around the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, for the government to treat this only as a case of an expired visa.

Israel has been know or suspected of using some terrible tools to extract the truth from captives suspected of being terrorists. I suggest that we could use some of their techniques to get some answers as to why and who else.

And until those answers are forth-coming, he should be accorded every amenity of the Royal Goal, with no possibility of parole.

Such a fate would be a kindness to the people of TnT as they/we will know that one less strange person with an improbable name, is not lurking in the dark, plotting harm, another bomb, a big drug haul, another bag-load of deadly guns with night scopes and other conveniences.

This matter should be treated so severely that it becomes a deterrent to would be stow-aways and others trying to hide here and destroy part of our national patrimony; or worse.

We have made such a fuss about criminal Laventille, that now, the forest dwellers are coming out into the open, and we do not seem to see the harm in their intentions.

The police are to be commended for following up on the tip, but the question I want answered most, is, how the hell did he get there in the first place? We need to close and guard our back doors to keep the thieves out.

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