Archive | Crime


Police arrest British visitor following drug find

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb. 16, CMC –A British woman is scheduled to appear in court in the second city of Montego Bay next week Monday after she was arrested by the police late Wednesday at the Sangster International Airport.

arrestThe police report that the 22-year-old woman from Birmingham, England was held she was found with cocaine and marijuana, as she was about to check in on a flight to Frankfurt Germany.

The police say they found the drugs in tins that were wrapped in foil paper and transparent plastic bags.

Two of the 40 tins were opened and one contained cocaine weighing 34 pounds and the other with six pounds of ganja.

She is facing six counts of breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act.

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Opposition legislator alleges security forces involved in murders in Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 15, CMC – An opposition legislator has suggested that members of the security forces are involved in murders in Trinidad and Tobago.

Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge, who is also a criminal defence attorney, told the Senate on Tuesday that there is only group of people which can carry out such killings without being caught.


Wayne Sturge

“Who among us could carry out murders with such skill and perfection? Who among us has the luxury of training and perfecting their art interrupted without having to look over their shoulders or having to worry about a national security helicopter passing over?

“Is it time Madam President for law enforcement to look inwards, or is it that these killings are being carried out by returning ISIS fighters (from Syria). These are the things we need to know. If we know the causes then we know how we arrive at the solution,” Sturge told legislators.

More than 70 people have been murdered here since the start of the year and Sturge said it is obvious that “many of the drug-related killings may very well be carried out by hired guns”.

He said these hired guns “may well have been…members of the armed forces,” adding that this could be among the reasons why the crime detection is so low here

He posed several questions to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, saying “isn’t it obvious that something is amiss, that something isn’t adding up.

“All this technology and we have the lowest detection rates anywhere. We pay the most money on national security and we get the least results. That can’t continue.

“So I ask is the Minister of National Security knows what is the reason for the Muslim versus Rasta City war, or the reason for the Muslim versus unruly ISIS. Where are all the guns coming from?

“We were given the impression that legislation expanding the remit of the SSA (Special Security Agency) was needed as a matter of urgency that it would go a long way in crime detection and we have in the last nine months since the passage since the exact opposite.”

Sturge said that urgent and important legislation has not yet been proclaimed and that could assist in the fight against crime.

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Jamaica police order tints removed from public vehicles

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 14, CMC – Police have announced the immediate removal of tints from public passenger vehicles (PPV) as the authorities implement measures to deal with the recent of recent incidents of women and children being abducted by perpetrators posing as taxi operators.

Last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness gave instructions for the removal of tints from PPVs and Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent (SSP) Calvin Allen said for motor cars, no tint will be allowed on the back windscreen, no tint will be allowed on the two front windows and no tint will be allowed on the (front) windscreen, except for a six-inch visor from the top.

TintHe told reporters that the requirements for the coaster and minibuses are similar, pointing out that the only difference will be the tinting allowed for the windscreen.

“For the coaster bus, no tint will be allowed on the back glass, nor the two immediate glasses at the side of the vehicle; therefore, there ought to be a clear view on the back seat of those public passenger vehicles,”  Allen said.

“For the glass that is on either side of the vehicle coming up to where the driver sits, a 70 per cent inward view will be allowed. For the driver’s door, that glass should have no tint, neither will there be any tint for the passenger that sits across from where the driver sits, as well as the door that the conductor operates from,” he added.

In terms of the windscreen of the coaster buses, Allen said a nine-inch visor will be allowed and that vehicles with factory tints that are being utilised as PPVs will be given a grace period to become regularised.

“They will go through certain testing by the Island Traffic Authority. If the grade tint that is there is of the required standard, that will be accepted; if  the grade tint that is there is not of the required standard, a twelve-month period is being allowed for the owner/operator to correct and to become legitimate,” he said.

He said operators found in breach will be charged J$2,500 (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) and that fines are expected to increase once the new Road Traffic Act is passed in Parliament.

He said the regulations will also be extended to the State-owned bus entity, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).

Transport Authority Chairman, Joseph Shoucair, said he has held talks with various taxi associations outlining the details of the initiatives.

“I am pleased to tell you that the discussions were spirited, cordial and respectful. At the end of the meeting, we were and remain on one accord,” he said, adding that the removal of tints from public PPVs is aimed at assisting with public safety and security.

Last week, police charged two men, including a 31-yeqr-old taxi driver with the murder of 15-year-old secondary school student, Shineka Gray, whose body was found with stab wounds in bushes on February 1.

The partly decomposed body of the grade 10 student of Green Pond High in Hanover. On the north-western tip of the island, was found in bushes in Irwin, a village in the suburban parish of St. James, north-west of here.-

Gray was reported missing after leaving the funeral of a former schoolmate.

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Former journalist detained following murder of banker

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb 14, CMC – Police have detained a former journalist following the shooting death of a banker, who died in hospital on Tuesday.

crimeeeeePolice said that the former senior reporter at the Searchlight newspaper had been taken into custody as the investigations continue into the death of Randy Lawrence, an employee of Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The killing is the first in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for 2017 and ends a six-week stretch without any homicides after 40 persons were killed in 2016.

Police said that Lawrence was taken to hospital after being shot about the body near a bar in Arnos Vale on Tuesday morning.

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court rul

Venezuelan nationals on money laundering charges

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb 14, CMC – two men, including a Venezuelan national, appeared in court here Tuesday charged with money laundering after police said they had seized over a million dollars (One EC dollar =US$0,37 cents) last week.

court rulVenezuelan Antonio Alcantara was remanded into custody while St. Lucian Anthony Jaye, was relased on EC$18,000 bail. He was also ordered to report to the police three times a week and surrender his travel documents.

The court heard that the police had seized US$395,000 from a car in which the two men were travelling after intercepting the vehicle near the Dennery bypass, east of here.

Meanwhile, another Venezuelan national,  Ricardo Jose Flores Montana, has been slapped with money laundering charges  after the police executed a search warrant on the home, north of here on February 10 and seized Euro10,000 (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) and US$131,720.

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fake emails

Woman charged for posting false information on internet; body parts harvesting, false

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 16, CMC – A 35-year-old woman, who posted information on the internet claiming that her ex-boyfriend was wanted for rape, assault and murder has been charged under the Cyber Crimes Act, the Ministry of National Security has announced.

It said that Amieka Mullings was arrested and charged earlier this week after she posted pictures in social media claiming that her ex-boyfriend is wanted for rape, assault and murder.

fake emailsThe Ministry of National Security said that “swift investigations by the police revealed that the information was false, malicious and tantamount to Malicious Communication under the Cyber Crimes legislation” and that Mullings was arrested, interrogated in the presence of her attorney and charged.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Robert Montague, is describing as entirely false the information circulating on social media alleging that persons are being abducted and killed so their organs can be harvested and sold.

The Ministry of National Security said that these messages are accompanied with pictures of victims. Investigations by the police have established that images of the deceased persons are not those of persons who were victims of the alleged crimes.

The statement quoted Montague as saying not a single case of any deceased person appearing with missing organs has been reported to the police or examined by the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine.

He reiterated that crime is a major concern for all Jamaicans and the security forces are working to prevent crime and improve the safety of Jamaican citizens.


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Skerrit in Cuba

PM Skerrit says protesters had planned a coup against his government

ROSEAU, Dominica, Feb 9, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says the leadership of two opposition parties here had planned to storm his office and “seize the seat of power” during Tuesday night’s disturbances that led to demonstrators setting fire to buildings and looting several businesses.

In a radio and television address on Wednesday night, Skerrit said that the demonstrators who had been calling for his resignation and that of his government were being pushed by the “militant, irresponsible behaviour of the leadership” of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) and the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP).

Skerrit in Cuba

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

The protesters had earlier during the day staged a demonstration on the street of the Financial Center where Skerrit’s office is housed, with Opposition Leader Lennox Linton and others defying a police command that their activities be held during the period 11.00 am to 3.00 pm (local time)..

“The police had information that the intent of the leadership was to stall the truck in front the Financial Centre and storm the barriers with the intent of entering the building.

“This was the intent of the leadership of the United Workers Party and the Dominica Freedom Party. This is how they intended to seize the seat of power in the country. They would have stormed the Financial Center Building and seek to occupy the building until their demands were met,” Skerrit said in his broadcast.

He said the police had on Tuesday night made “several attempts to clear the road by removing debris placed in front and under the tyres of the truck so as to allow it to exit the area but that proved futile as the people continued to create an obstruction”.

He said that Linton and three other opposition members, including two other legislators, had sought a meeting with the Superintendent (Ag.) Matthew Cuffy, who was in control of the police squad at the event, but left after he “advised them to take control of their supporters and to clear the front of the truck” which was also being used as a platform for the various speakers.

“The driver of the truck was ordered to proceed due west but the truck could not be driven forward because the mob was blocking it, and the atmosphere of the crowd then started to deteriorate.    At about 6:30 p.m. the crowd started agitating and started chanting “Skerrit Must Go.”

“In all this, the leadership of the UWP and DFP said or did nothing to contain the emotions of their supporters,” Skerrit said, giving his audience a detailed account of the agreement that had been reached between the police and the organisers to end the protest by 3.00 pm.

He said that the agreement called for the speakers to adhere to the provisions of the Litter and Noise Abatement Acts as well as the Public Order Act.

“Speakers at the meeting must refrain from making inflammatory statements to incite violence. The meeting must be peaceful and adhere to law and order. The Leaders and organizers of the meeting are responsible to ensure a peaceful meeting. The Chief of Police also informed the joint UWP/DFP leadership that they would be held responsible for any violation of the conditions set for the meeting.”

Skerrit said that the representatives of the two Opposition parties agreed to the terms and conditions set in the permission for the meeting, but that “so emotive was the language used, that the American Embassy in Barbados, you would recall, issued an advisory to American citizens in Dominica advising that they stay clear of the area earmarked for this event.

“Perhaps now, on reflection, it is reasonable for one to speculate whether the US Embassy in Bridgetown had gotten wind of the intended action of the leaderships of the United Workers Party and the Dominica Freedom Party; for their advisory about the likely deterioration of social order, proved to be spot on.”

Skerrit noted that notwithstanding the agreement to end the meeting at a scheduled time, Linton spoke for an hour and 15 minutes after the agreed time indicating that the meeting would only end when he said so.

“The police repeatedly informed Mr. Linton and other members that the meeting should end immediately, but he refused to comply. Fellow Dominicans, friends, and well-wishers, this is where the breakdown of respect for law and order began.

“This is where a clear signal was sent to supporters of the combined United Workers Party and Dominica Freedom Party that the law was not to be respected and that they could do as they please.

“This is when and where the cue was given for persons to do whatever they deemed necessary to forcibly and unlawfully remove a democratically elected government from office,” Skerrit said, adding that the events that later unfolded were “as a direct consequence and a result of the decision by Lennox Linton to say, in effect, ‘to hell with the police, we shall do as we please’.

“There were other aspects of Lennox Linton’s address to the mob that had gathered, that could be construed as inciting lawlessness and acts of antisocial behavior. But, this is all now part of a police investigation, which I will not speak to at this point as I do not wish to prejudice the matter.

“What is a clear and undisputed fact, is that the decision to break the law and to disregard the rule of law was taken by the Leader of the Opposition Lennox Linton and his mob of supporters who, merely followed his lead. “

Skerrit said that during the disturbances on Tuesday night, live bullets were fired on the police by the protesters, who had clearly marked out the businesses to be looted and destroyed.

He said 32 male individuals were arrested for various offences in relation to the reported incidents and that investigations are continuing into the overall conduct of the meeting and protest action.

“The Dominica Police Force handled the situation last evening with exceptional skill and forbearance. Were it not for the actions of the police this matter could have gotten much worse.

“I salute the officers and Members of the Dominica Police Force and the Fire Service. They did us all proud last evening. They contained a situation that could easily have gotten out of hand to the point of major bloodshed on the streets of Dominica.”

He said that his government would seek to help the businesses that were affected by the events and would also be intensifying “our marketing of Dominica as a peaceful and welcoming place to visit.

“We shall not be deterred by the reckless and irresponsible acts and behavior of those who crave political power,” he said, adding “this act of gross irresponsibility goes to the heart of the image of Dominica as a democratically stable and peaceful place to visit, live and do business.

“The perpetrators of this crime have done Dominica enormous damage. But, we shall prevail. We shall recover from this and we shall move on.”

Linton has already condemned the “violence and vandalism” in the capital on Tuesday night and denied that the party played any role in getting protesters to set fires and loot several buildings.

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Caribbean children fall to murder in Jamaica and Tobago

Two charged with murder of 15-year-old school girl

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 11, CMC – Jamaica police have charged two men, including a 31-yeqr-old taxi driver with the murder of 15-year-old secondary school student, Shineka Gray, whose body was found with stab wounds in bushes on February 1.

crimemePolice said that 23-year-old Mario Morrison, a labourer, and taxi driver Gregory Roberts, were charged with murder after being questioned on Thursday.

The partly decomposed body of the grade 10 student of Green Pond High in Hanover. On the north-western tip of the island, was found in bushes in Irwin, a village in the suburban parish of St. James, north-west of here.-

The statement from the Corporate Communications Network of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) did not give a court date for the accused men.

“Investigators are advising that no friend of the deceased has been implicated in any way in this gruesome act,” the statement added.

Gray was reported missing after leaving the funeral of a former schoolmate.

Secondary school student murdered by STAFF WRITER

SCARBOROUGH, Tobago, Feb 11, CMC – Tobago recorded its fourth murder so far for this year, the same number it recorded for the entire 2016, when the body of a 15-year-old secondary school student was found with her throat slit.

Police said that Abiela Adams had earlier been reported missing and that her body was found in Courland, on the island’s north west coast early Saturday morning..

Media reports said that Adams, a pupil of the Signal Hill Secondary School and a youth footballer, was last seen at around 7.30 (local time) on Friday night.


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Police investigating reports of alleged Jamaican rapist in Antigua

ST. JOHN’S , Antigua, Feb. 9, CMC – The police are investigating reports that a Jamaican man, accused of rape, has been seeking refuge here.

police-investigationThe Antigua Observer reports that a photograph has been making the rounds for several weeks, via social media, warning females in particular to be on the lookout for the Jamaican.

The man is accused of allegedly raping someone in Jamaica is believed to be on the run in the twin island statement

According to Inspector Frankie Thomas, the police are aware of the report .

“We have no concrete information to suggest that this man is in the country,

but notwithstanding that we will continue to do our own investigation, even if it means we have to get in touch with our counterparts in Jamaica and work along with other law enforcement agencies,” Thomas said.

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Crime and violence cost Latin America and Caribbean countries billions of dollars -IDB

 WASHINGTON, Feb 4, CMC – A study undertaken by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) estimates the direct annual cost of crime and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean at US$261 billion or 3.55 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The IDB said the figure is roughly what the region invests on infrastructure and double the average cost for developed countries.

It is also the equivalent income for 30 per cent of the poorest population, underscoring the grave development impact violence has on the region.

crimmeeThe IDB said the “Costs of Crime and Violence: New Evidence, New Revelations in Latin America and the Caribbean” study is a landmark effort to provide comparable crime costs numbers for 17 countries in the region, benchmarking them against 6 developed countries.

“Crime and violence are at near crisis levels in Latin America and the Caribbean. The region accounts for nine per cent of the world’s population but contributes nearly one-third of its homicide victims, making it the most violent region outside of war zones. Six out of ten robberies in the region involve violence and 90 percent of murders go unresolved. Its prisons are the most overcrowded in the world,” the IDB said.

“Crime has reached alarming levels in many countries,” said Ana María Rodríguez, the manager of the IDB’s Institutions for Development Department.

“By providing estimates of the costs of violence at the regional, sub-regional, and national levels, the study will help governments and international cooperation agencies better allocate resources, as well as design better policies to control and prevent crime.”

Crime-related costs are on average 3.55 per cent of GDP in Latin America, compared with 2.75 per cent in the US, 2.55 per cent in the UK and 1.34 per cent in Germany. If the region brings its crime costs down to the level of developed nations, it could increase its infrastructure investment by 50 per cent.

The study breaks down the costs of crime into three parts.

The social costs include lethal and non-lethal victimization and foregone income of prison populations: 0.64 per cent of GDP. Private spending on security by business and households: 1.37 per cent of GDP and public spending, including the costs to the justice system, spending on police services and spending on prisons: 1.51 per cent of GDP

The estimates are conservative as they include mainly direct costs of crime: public and private spending on security and the social costs. They do not include indirect costs such as changes in behaviour due to fear of crime, or the impacts of crime on the health of persons, the IDB noted.

It said as a percentage of GDP, public spending on crime-related areas in Latin America and the Caribbean is similar to the level in developed economies such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom. However, spending is a much bigger portion of public budgets, and private spending on crime prevention is vastly superior to that in more developed nations, the study shows.

The study provides a greater level of detail on how uneven the crime phenomenon is in the region – and within countries. High-crime states in Brazil such as Alagoas y Ceará have costs and rates that mirror more those of Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras). Safer areas such as Bello Horizonte and Sao Paolo have numbers closer to Chile and Uruguay.

The study has chapters that analyze crime costs in Brazil, the Northern Triangle and the Caribbean and breaks new ground in calculating the direct costs of homicides as well as the foregone income of the victims of homicides (0.36 percent of GDP, or an annual average of U$10.5 billion for the 2014-2015 period).

The study also notes that countries that spend more on prisons do not necessarily reap the benefits of less violence.

The Bahamas and El Salvador, for instance, spend large sums (in terms of GDP) on their penitentiary systems but suffer from high crime rates. Argentina and Uruguay, on the other hand, have much lower incarceration costs and lower crime rates.

Costs of violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean double the world average, and the study points to future avenues for more research on gender violence. The book includes chapters on cybercrime and organized crime, the IDB added.

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