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TUNA

Guyana prevents cartons of tuna from entering country

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 22, CMC – Guyana has refused entry of 2,000 cartons of tuna imported from China saying the action was prompted by an Inspector’s  report  on samples taken from a container  on March 9 this year.

The Government Analyst- Food and   Drug Department (GA-FDD) said it was advising consumers and the general public that the exact address of the manufacturer in the country of origin of the tuna labelled   “BUIWICK” instead   of “BRUNSWICK was not stated.

TUNAThe authorities have since advised consumers “ to always take a second look at  labels/brands  and to ensure the country of origin and  the exact name  and address of manufacturers  are stated  on the  label.”.

The GA-FDD serves as a regulatory body, ensuring that consumable goods including drugs, food and beverages meet international standards and requirement.

The Department has since written to the Commissioner of Customs to suspend  the  processing of documents of a known third party agent out of the United  States that “knowingly and deliberately facilitates the importation of products into Guyana that are substandard and/or are with inadequate labels”.

The department said that the company has on numerous occasions exported items of food to Guyana in the absence of documentation in the prescribed form from the country of origin.

“The department will notify the  regulatory agency of the People’s  Republic  of  China on their findings and action, because official   documentation   with  attestation was used to facilitate  the shipment of falsely labelled Tuna to Guyana.”

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court rul

Two charged in the death of a police woman

 
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 20, CMC – Two persons, including a 36-year-old woman, will return to court on April 18 after they were charged with murder and illegally disposing of the body of woman police officer Nyasha Joseph, whose body was fished out of the sea last week.

Melissa and Kenneth Browne, (not relatives) appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers Caesar in the Port of Spain Eighth Court on Monday, less than 24 hours after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had given police the go-ahead to charge them.

court rulKenneth Browne, 36, is charged with knowingly assisting in the murder of the police officer illegally disposing of a body, while Melissa Browne, 36, charged with murdering WPC Joseph sometime between March 8 and March 16, at Sea Lots, just on the outskirts of the capital. She was not required to plead as the charge was laid indictably.

The police woman had been reported missing on March 8, and her body was found by a fisherman in Gulf of Paria on March 16. The cause of her death could not be determined by the pathologist.

Police said that the accused are not married but have a relationship.

Meanwhile, defence attorney Criston J Williams told the court that he had written to the Commissioner of Police and the head of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) requesting an investigation into the conduct of the police officers during their probe.

He said the officers used unfair interrogation techniques and were disrespectful to the lawyers representing the accused.

Williams said that when he and other attorneys attempted to meet with the accused during the investigation, the officers resisted and claimed that one police officer placed his hands on Williams in an attempt to push him away.

Williams said his clients’ fundamental rights had been breached.

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Dr. Orlando Smith

Premier calls for overseas help in crime fight

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands , Mar. 19, CMC – Premier Dr Orlando Smith has vowed to leave no stone unturned as security officials in this British Overseas territory deal with an upsurge in crime.

In a recent press release, Smith said that if necessary, overseas help sought be sought and highly trained cops should be pulled from retirement.

Dr. Orlando Smith
Dr. Orlando Smith

“No stone should be left unturned in bringing the perpetrators to justice of all crimes, and particularly the heinous crimes that have been committed in this territory. If this calls for bringing in assistance from abroad, let’s do so immediately.”

The Premier’s resolve follows a directive issued by Governor John Duncan late Friday in which he used his constitutional power to force the Government to add US$800,000 to the police budget for this financial year.

The government, in its budget had allocated US$161 million to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.

Duncan, told journalists that he was reluctant to resort to his constitutional power, but said the police force is currently under funded at a time when crime is a big concern.

Governor John Duncan
Governor John Duncan

The Governor’s announcement has been endorsed by the Premier.

“Yes, we must provide the police with financial resources. In addition, the Commissioner (of Police) and the Force must continue to be innovative and creative in carrying out their duties….” He said.

However, a member of the main opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP),Julian Fraser – said the order issued by Duncan has set the territory back in its constitutional advancement.

“I didn’t think the day would come when I would see a governor exercise a monarchical take-over of our Treasury. This is what I call a soft takeover of the democratically elected Smith government. The governor was wrong and he has to be stopped,” Fraser said in a post on his Facebook page.

According to Fraser, who the governor recently removed as opposition leader – the Governor should stay out of “our local politics”

“He has the Protocols for Effective Financial Management to hold the government accountable with. That is an administrative arrangement between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Government of the Virgin Islands to keep the government frugal in its financial affairs,” Fraser noted.

Since the start of the year three persons have been murdered across the territory – with two being murdered in less tan 24 hours.

According to police statistics, last year, four people were murdered and 18 gun robberies were reported.

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Rowley KK

Trinidad PM supports death penalty

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 16, CMC – Prime Minister Dr, Keith Rowley Thursday said he supports the death penalty and that his administration is working towards having it implemented as it moves to deal with those citizens bent on committing murder ‘with impunity” in Trinidad and Tobago.

Rowley, speaking at the end of the weekly Cabinet news conference, told reporters that “this fight against the criminal element is a national crusade” and urged the public to assist the police in carrying out their investigations.

Rowley KK
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

“This just require that we stay on the job and do what is required. There are people in this country who has chosen crime as a way of life,” he said, adding that “we are being traumatised by a very small minority and we are going to take the best chance in law to protect us”.

Rowley said that even when people are incarcerated “they are running criminal empires from inside the jail and we are going to take steps to ensure that this does not go on”.

He told reporters he does not care whatever the backlash could be from his position but he wanted to make it abundantly clear that he is a “firm believer in capital punishment.

“It is the punishment for the crime,” he said, noting that “it is my view that people acting with impunity that nothing will happen” when they commit the crimes including murder.

Rowley said that the Attorney General Faris Al Rawi has set up in his office the mechanism to monitor persons who have been convicted of murder and is moving to ensure that they pay the penalty keeping in mind the Pratt and Morgan ruling of the Privy Council that persons on death row for more than five years can’t be executed.

Despite Trinidad and Tobago hosting the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the oil rich twin island republic still uses the London-based court as its final court.

Rowley said that former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj is also assisting the government so that “persons of recent vintage (convicted of murder) will pay the ultimate penalty”.

Rowley said that his administration is providing all the necessary resources to the security forces to deal with the crime situation here and reiterated a call for the law abiding public to help the police in their investigation.

Rowley said there were some people who were bent on committing crime not as a result, for instance of having lost their jobs, but who believe that it is their right to take lives and property from other nationals.

The last execution in Trinidad and Tobago occurred on July 28, 1999 when Anthony Briggs was hanged after being convicted for the August 1992 murder of a taxi driver, Siewdath Ramkissoon during a robbery in August 1992.

Briggs was hanged just over a month after the members of the Dole Chadee gang were hanged over a three-day period.

Dole Chadee, Joey Ramiah and Ramkelawan Singh were executed on June 4, 1999, while Clive Thomas, Robin Gopaul and Russell Sankeralli were hanged on June 5, 1999.

On June 7, 1999 Joel Ramsingh, Steve Eversley and Bagwandeen Singh were hanged.

The Chadee gang were hanged for their involvement in the murder of the Baboolal family in 1994.

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Shurland-Harris

Regional Security Council ministers meeting in St. Kitts

 BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Mar 17, CMC – The annual Regional Security System (RSS) Council of Ministers’ meeting is taking place here on Friday with officials underscoring its importance to security in the Caribbean.

“There has been a significant increase in drug seizures in collaboration with security forces of the region, as well as the RSS Air Wing.

Shurland-Harris
Captain Errington Shurland (Left) and Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris

“There has also been a significant increase in the assets that have been seized or forfeited, to include money and property, and this is through the recently developed Regional Security System Asset Recovery Unit,” said the RSS executive director, Captain Errington Shurland.

The meeting here is being held under the chairmanship of St.. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris.

The chairmanship of the Barbados-based RSS rotates on an annual basis among Council members from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadine, Grenada and St. Kitts-Nevis.

The RSs was formed in October 1982, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Barbados to provide mutual assistance upon request

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Portia Simpson Miller

Simpson Miller bids farewell and urges government to reverse tax package

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar. 16, CMC – Leader of the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Portia Simpson Miller added her voice to others who have called on the Andrew Holness administration to reverse the J$13.5 billion (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) tax package announced by Finance Minister Audley Shaw.

Portia Simpson Miller “This is “tax-perity” gone wild, said Simpson Miller as she made her final contribution to the 2017/2018 budget debate as opposition leader on Thursday .

She accused the government of taxing group health insurance and fuel, among other things.

“The people were promised no new taxes to implement the $1.5 million tax threshold. Yet in only 12 months the people have been devastated with over $29 billion in new and unnecessary taxes to finance the so-called give back,” adding that “the administration’s version of prosperity is a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.”

“It is the reckless political promises that were made that has caused us to be at this point today. We warned that if the tax threshold was lifted, you would have had to impose new taxes on the backs of the people – that’s what we said. This is what is now happening. Now hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans will have to pay even though they will not benefit.

They will have to bear the costs of your recklessness – this could have been avoided. It is the biggest political trick to have ever been perpetrated on the Jamaican people,” she said.

The former Prime also expressed disappointment at an election promise made by Holness that crime will be addressed.

“I am disappointed that after one year in office, this Government has not delivered the promised crime plan, this is clearly not good enough.

“I am expecting that when the Prime Minister speaks next week, he will announce more resources for our security and intelligence teams to outmatch, outwit and out maneuver the criminals.”

She noted that social issues are the “root cause” of crime and violence and insisted that “every single Jamaican has a vested interest in the fight to defeat the spiraling crime”.

On the issue of crime and women, the opposition leader called for the increased protection of women.

“If necessary, we need to establish a committee with persons from both sides and meet with security forces to see what is causing so many murders in the country. It had seized, but it is rising again. Too many of our women are being murdered and it’s disheartening…too many have been victims of domestic abuse, rape and murder. We are now at a point of crisis.”

Simpson Miller who also reflected on her legacy, said the moment was “bitter sweet”.

“I’ve seen the good, the bad, the happy and the sad, but above all I’ve had an incredible journey of service to my beloved people and country. Empowering and uplifting the people has been central to me…from the poor and dispossessed to the rich and the powerful. I remain as convinced today as I was 43 years ago that beyond racial origins we must believe in ourselves and our common destiny when we work together.”

The former Prime Minister who was lauded, not only by members of the opposition PNP, but legislators from the Jamaica Labour Party said that she will never stop believing “in the potential of the Jamaica people and their capacity for greatness…I have always believed that it is the people who have the ultimate power not us. It is on their behalf and in their interest that we must always exercise power.

She will step down as opposition leader on April 2, paving the way for the ascent of Dr. Peter Phillips.

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court rul

Killer jailed for 35 years

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Mar 15, CMC – A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to 35 years in jail after he was convicted of murdering a fellow Bermudian outside a popular sports club in 2015.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said Shantoine Burrows showed “some premeditation” in committing the murder of Rickai Swan, 26, and displayed the “mind-set of a person intent on killing”.

court rulShe described video capturing the murder played during his trial as “chilling”.

Swan was gunned down outside the Southampton Rangers Sports Club — a team he grew up playing football for — in October 2015.

Burrows must serve a minimum sentence of 25 years for the murder and the judge said his 10-year sentence for use of a firearm in committing the murder does not start until after the 25 years.

Burrows was convicted last October of the fatal shooting of Swan, who was socialising with friends outside of the club.  A jury found Burrows unanimously guilty of the charges last year and he was remanded in custody. He was also found guilty of injuring Damiko Gibbons.

Crown counsel Nicole Smith described the murder as a “public execution”, which displayed “no mitigating circumstances”.

She described Burrows as “not a man of good character”, devoid of respect for the law or remorse for his crime.

But in addressing the court, Burrows maintained his innocence.

“I still stand before you an innocent man,” he said, adding “justice wasn’t served.”

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illegal weapons

More than 150 illegal guns seized in jamaica so far this year

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 15, CMC – National Security Minister, Robert Montague, says more than 150 guns and over 1, 500 rounds of ammunition have been seized by law enforcement authorities so far this year.

Montague said that up until March 11 this year, 163 illegal guns and 1,684 rounds of ammunition had been seized as compared with 116 illegal guns and 1, 592 rounds of ammunition for the same period last year.

illegal weapons“We are making progress in taking the illegal weapons and ammunition off the streets, but that is not good enough. We must get to the supply which is the root cause of our problems, because the more we take up, it also tells us that more is coming in,” the National Security Minister said during the handing over of a BULLETTRAX-3D System to the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine.

He said that last year, more than 700 illegal guns and 8,721 rounds of ammunition were seized under the “Get the Guns” campaign.

“We are working very hard to dry up the supply of illicit firearms and ammunition in Jamaica,” Montague said, adding that the Andrew Holness government has been working very closely with international partners to stop the flow of illicit firearms and ammunition in Jamaica.

He said a review of the Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA) has been undertaken, while the operations have been “tightened” to ensure that legal gun owners are properly vetted, appropriately trained in the handling and keeping of firearms and are held accountable.

“Legal gun owners cannot enable criminal access to guns and ammunition through negligence or irresponsible actions. Every firearm and every round of ammunition in the country will be properly accounted for. We cannot stamp out the scourge of crime and murders in Jamaica unless we overcome our gun problem,” Montague said, noting that 70 per cent of the murders committed in Jamaica involve the use of firearms.

Under the “Get the Guns” campaign, the police intercept illegal firearms entering the island as well as recover guns from criminals. Monetary rewards are offered to the public for information that leads to the seizure of the weapons.

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court rul

15-year-old on murder charge

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 14, CMC- A 15-year-old boy is due to re-appear in court on March 27 after he was charged with the murder of a retired member of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force during the Carnival celebrations.

court rulThe boy, appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle in the Port of Spain Eighth Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with killing 56-year-old Calvert James, who died on February 27, Carnival Monday, from multiple stab wounds.

The retired soldier was killed during an incident on the outskirts of the capital. The Director of Public Prosecution, Roger Gaspard SC, on March 11, gave instructions to charge the teenager with murder.

The teenager, who cannot be identified because of his age as he deemed a minor by law, has since been remanded to the St Michael’s Boys Rehabilitation Centre.

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Shawn Richardss

Government condemns shooting incident at home of Deputy Prime Minister

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Mar 10, CMC – The St. Kitts-Nevis government Friday condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the shooting incident that occurred at the home of the Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards.

Shawn Richardss
Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards

A brief government statement noted that the security forces “have been mobilized to deal with this latest dastardly act to undermine safety and security in the country as they continue to do their best to maintain law and order for all citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis”.

The statement gave no details of the shooting incident, but noted that Richards and his family “were not hurt physically and are safe.

Media reports here said that gunshots were fired at the Sandy Point home of the minister and his prvate vehicle early on Friday.

The police said they responded to the report of gunfire at around 3:15 a.m. (local time) and observed damages to the house and the vehicle consistent with gunshots.  The value of the damage is unknown.

“Many law abiding citizens and residents have conveyed well wishes to the minister and his family, while expressing their abhorrence of the cowardly incident,” the government said, praising God for ensuring the safety of the minister and his family.

“The Government wishes to reassure all that it will not be deterred in the fight against crime and will continue to fully support the security forces in the protection of all the citizens and residents,” the statement said, urging persons to “cooperate with the Police if they have any information on the incident.

“Persons who may have information can share that information anonymously by calling any station, Crime Stoppers or by using the SKN Crime Reporter App on their smartphones,” the statement added.

Posted in Crime, Local, Police, Politics, Regional1 Comment

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