Archive | Crime


Jamaicans arrested for attempting to import cocaine

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman islands, Nov. 17, CMC   – The police in the Cayman Islands have arrested two Jamaicans after they were in possession of cocaine at the Owen Roberts Intenrational Airport last weekend.

arrestThe police report that they arrested a 25 year old Jamaican man for the importation of cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

A 59 year old Jamaican woman, who is a work permit holder, was also arrested for the importation of the drug.

According to the police, the man arrived on a Cayman Airways flight from Jamaica last week and the cocaine was found when his luggage was x-rayed and searched, the drugs were discovered.

Officials did not say whether or not the woman, who  lives here, had arrived on the same flight or the nature of her connection to the man.

However, Assistant Collector of Customs Gidget Powell, who has responsibility for the Customs Airport Section, confirmed that the two arrests were related.

The police say investigations are currently ongoing by the Customs Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Posted in Crime, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments


Police seize drugs in container from Suriname

 KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov 17, CMC – Jamaica police have seized J$30 million (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) worth of cocaine at a wharf in the capital after a container arrived here from Suriname on Thursday.

crimeNo one has been arrested in connection with the discovery.

Police said law enforcement authorities including the Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) of Jamaica Customs, were conducting operations at the facility on Thursday during which they searched a refrigerated container and found 24 rectangular parcels, each containing cocaine.

The police said that drugs, which weighed 26.7 kilograms, was processed and secured. The authorities said that the container had arrived in the island from Suriname on Thursday.

Posted in Crime, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Edouard Junior

Warrant issued for former tourism minister

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Nov 16, CMC – A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former tourism minister tourism minister Edouard Junior less than a month after he claimed he was being politically persecuted and prevented from leaving the country.

According to the warrant issued by Clame Ocnam Daméus, the Government Commissioner at the Court of First Instance in Port-au-Prince, the former minister is accused of “embezzlement of public property and attempted embezzlement of public goods…”.

Edouard Junior
Edouard Junior (File Photo)

But the former minister has strongly denied the allegations describing them as “threats, acts of intimidation and instrumentalization of justice for personal and political ends…”

He said while he is aware he is “is not and cannot be above the law” he is nonetheless “prepared to answer, if necessary, the questions of the justice of his country to the extent that the procedures laid down in Articles 42, 185 and 186 of the Constitution are scrupulously respected.”

He is urging the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation to audit the former government so as “to put an end to attempts to discredit its administration and to manipulate public opinion.”

Junior  has re-affirmed his “attachment to the ideals of law and justice” recalling that “the construction of our democracy must necessarily obey the strict respect of the Constitution and the laws of the Republic.”
Last month, Junior told radio listeners that unknown gunmen had fired shots at his home and that he had also received death threats.

“From now on, my safety and that of my family are in the hands of (President) Jovenel Moïse..,” said Junior, who served in the 2016-17 administrations of former president Jocelerme Privert and former prime minister Enex Jean-Charles.

In October, Daméus, as part of the preliminary investigation sent a letter to the Director of the Immigration and Emigration Service asking him formally to “pass the necessary instructions” so that Junior and former economy minister Yves Romain Bastien be prohibited from leaving the country by air, sea and land.

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IMF Andrew

IMF pledges support for Caribbean

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov 16, CMC – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Thursday pledged its support for the Caribbean as the region moves to build resilience against the effects of natural disasters.

IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, addressing the sixth IMF High level Caribbean forum, said the Washington-based financial institution is prepared to support the Caribbean with recovery funding and is cognisant of the impact of natural disasters on economic development and stability in the Caribbean.

IMF Andrew
Jamaica’s Prime Minuster Andrew Holness in discussions
with IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde

She told the forum, which is being held under the theme ‘Unleashing Growth and Strengthening Resilience in the Caribbean’, that the IMF is ready to provide leadership with sourcing special funding and expertise to assist the region in developing mitigation and resilience strategies over the short and long term.

She said Hurricanes Irma and Maria that passed through the Lesser Antilles in September causing widespread destruction and killing several people “have again highlighted the special vulnerabilities of the Caribbean, and the need to strengthen its resilience.

“Climate change is expected to intensify the impact of natural disasters, and worsen the vulnerabilities of small states in the Caribbean. Rising sea levels increase risks of erosion and flooding, and warmer water temperatures heighten the potential for more intense hurricanes,” she told the forum that is being attended by several regional prime ministers, central bank governors and other stakeholders.

“We must come together to address the challenge posed by climate change, and help those most affected by it. Emergency relief following events like Hurricanes Irma and Maria is a key responsibility of the global community.”

Lagarde said that the IMF stands ready to do whatever it can to help in these situations, in assessing macroeconomic implications, determining financing needs, and providing financial support that would also help catalyze broader financing from the rest of the international community.

“Beyond these efforts, I propose convening an event with all the major public and private stakeholders to explore options for building resilience in the region, including risk mitigation, debt management strategies, and use of catastrophe bonds. This effort is not about a short-term response, but about building defenses to events that will reoccur again.

“In this effort, we will work in close collaboration with our Caribbean partners and the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, and other development partners.”

She said that the forum, which focuses on issues impacting the region and the potential opportunities within the context of an ever-changing global landscape, is an important platform for brainstorming and collaborating with key stakeholders on the challenges facing the region and the possible solutions to address them.

The IMF has just published a book by the same title as the theme of the forum and the IMF managing director said it which explores some of the ideas to be raised.

“This year’s Forum is also about hearing your views on how we can work together to deepen Caribbean growth, insulate it more from shocks, and make it more resilient. We all want this region to create more jobs and growth for the benefits of its current and future generations.

The IMF official said stronger economic growth is the essential foundation for a more resilient Caribbean and it is also a foundation for building defenses.

“Unfortunately, economic growth in the Caribbean has been low for several decades. This has led to rising social and economic challenges, including poverty, inequality, unemployment, and crime. While many authorities in the Caribbean were successful in their efforts to create a stable macroeconomic environment, growth still remains elusive.”

Lagarde said there is no one explanation for this disappointing growth performance. Caribbean economies have been hit by external shocks, such as natural disasters which affected agriculture in particular and loss of international trade preferences.

She said at the same time, they have not been able to fully insulate themselves from such shocks because of large macroeconomic imbalances. Growth has also been affected by structural impediments.

“A few come to mind: The region’s high cost of electricity, limited access to credit for households and medium and small enterprises, high rates of violent crime, and a persistent outflow of highly-skilled workers, the brain drain.

“So what can we do moving forward? That is what brings us together…This conference has been organized to discuss these issues. The IMF is not a specialist on these topics, and this conference will afford us an opportunity to learn.”

She said that the agenda covers three specific issues that are key to higher growth, namely crime and youth unemployment; fiscal policy and political cycles; and stability and growth trade-offs in the financial sector.

The IMF official said that crime and youth unemployment in the Caribbean is among the highest in the world. Crime, partly fuelled by this high rate of joblessness, a major obstacle to growth in the Caribbean.

She said crime imposes several economic costs, including public spending on security and the criminal justice system; private spending on security; and social costs from the loss of income due to victimization and incarceration.

In a recent study, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) found that, on average, crime in the Caribbean costs nearly four per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) annually, more than in most Latin American countries.

“So we need to create a virtuous cycle, where strong growth would reduce high unemployment and in particular high youth unemployment and crime which, in turn, would contribute to boosting productivity and growth, without which investors are reluctant to invest. “

But Lagrade said this “can only take us so far” and that politics and electoral cycles can have a strong impact on fiscal policies and economic outcomes, a phenomenon that has been observed around the world, and has also played a major role in shaping economic developments in the Caribbean.

She said too often, promising reforms have been cut short by policy reversals driven by political pressures, not in all cases, but in many instances.

“We need strong institutions and fiscal frameworks that can help safeguard and sustain prudent fiscal policy over time.

“For example, well-designed fiscal rules can help guide consolidation efforts. Indeed, such a rule targeting a reduction in public debt to 60 percent of GDP over the medium term has been introduced in several countries in the region—the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union—and has had success in putting public debt on a clear downward path in St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Jamaica.”

Lagarde said that the experience of these countries, which in the main has been very successful, provides a good example for other countries in the region.

She said fiscal councils are also increasingly recognized as tools to promote sound fiscal policies by providing independent information and analysis, and by monitoring compliance with fiscal rules.

She said Jamaica’s Economic Program Oversight Committee (EPOC) provides a good example.

“From 2013 onwards, this public-private sector committee has played a central role in monitoring Jamaica’s economic reform program and building support for it. While some had doubts whether the government’s program would work, through the authorities efforts including building support, the program succeeded.”

In her address the IMF managing director said that there is need to consider the connection between financial stability and growth.

“We know that a well-functioning and healthy financial sector should strike a balance between risk-taking, growth, and stability. But we also know that the financial sectors in the Caribbean have historically either taken on too much or too little risk.”

She said in countries with high public debt, banks have grown dependent on government paper, and have crowded out private sector credit.

In other countries, at times, banks have engaged in excessively risky lending, leading to struggles with nonperforming loans.

“What is the right balance? That will be the focus of a part of our conversation today. The distinguished panel has also been asked to examine policies to address constraints on financial sector inclusion and deepening—and I am very much looking forward to hearing its views,” she told the ceremony.

She said when it comes to banking, there is another challenge that needs to be looked at, noting that both Caribbean and other economies around the world have had to contend with the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs), also known as de-risking.

The IMF, Lagarde said, has facilitated an international dialogue on this issue, aimed at fostering a shared understanding of the problem, and to help develop policy responses that are tailored to specific challenges faced by Caribbean economies.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Energy, Hurricane, International, Local, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments


Guyana to host CARICOM consultations on use of marijuana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Nov 3, CMC – Guyana will host a consultation on the use of marijuana on Monday, November 6, 2017 as part of the efforts by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments to conduct careful in-depth research so as to inform decision making on the issue.

The Regional Commission on Marijuana, which was established by CARICOM leaders, will meet with various stakeholders including Youth and Faith-based organizations.

marijuuuThe region-wide consultations are intended to obtain information on the social, economic, health and legal issues related to marijuana use in the Caribbean.

“Such information would, among other outcomes, determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification, modelled after the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances for which many, if not all, CARICOM members are party to,” the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said in a statement.

It said that given that reclassification of the drug would make it legally accessible for all types of use, including religious, recreational, medical and research, the Regional Commission is expected also to provide recommendations on the legal and administrative conditions that will apply, as per its Terms of Reference.

Many Caribbean countries’ legislations do not currently allow for full legislation under international law and national approaches to addressing this issue have resulted in various positions.

In the case of Jamaica, for example, the Dangerous Drugs Act was amended in 2016 and legislation was passed which reduced possession of small quantities to a petty offence. It also created the framework for the development of legal medical marijuana, hemp and nutraceutical industries.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cabinet agreed, in August 2016, to send a draft law to Parliament for its first reading. In August of this year, Belize introduced an amendment to its Misuse of Drugs Act, to deciminalise the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana.

The proposed legislation also provides for the imposition of monetary and non-recordable penalties for such amounts that are found on school premises in specialized circumstances and decriminalizes the use of the substance in small amounts on private premises.

In other countries there have been widespread public information and communications initiatives driven by both government and civil society.

In addition to national consultations, the Regional Marijuana Commission will undertake extensive secondary research to inform the preparation of reports to be submitted to the CARICOM leaders for its consideration, the Secretariat added.

So far, consultations have taken place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados and the Secretariat said that national consultations will continue in Suriname, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Belize.

The Commission is headed by Professor Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and includes practitioners with expert knowledge in a variety of disciplines including medicine and allied health, health research, law enforcement, ethics, education, anthropology/sociology/ culture.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Education, Health, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Religion, Youth0 Comments


Bungling Drug Charges and arrests

Drug arrests – smuggling drugs into Montserrat

by Bennette Roach

Davy Hill – Nov 3, 2017

Police turned up at the John Osborne Airport on Saturday morning October 21, 2017, to continue what they later, but at first denied they had informed anyone of their actions as they investigated three young men and then another, all reportedly Jamaican nationals on drug related charges. By the end of this week the police may have bungled badly the case against these accused men, or some of them, as they reportedly coerced them, obtaining guilty pleas from them, while constantly, according to attorneys denying them their Constitutional rights to being able to consult with them in a timely manner.

TMR first learned on Saturday morning what the Royal Montserrat Police later reported, they apprehended four Jamaican nationals (one resident in Montserrat) who allegedly smuggled illegal drugs into Montserrat on Friday evening shortly after arriving at the John A Osborne airport.

The police were reported to say, “the Jamaican nationals were interviewed by members of the integrated border security unit when they began acting in a suspicious manner. As a result the men were taken to the police headquarters in Brades, where one of them started vomiting what appeared to be an illegal substance. The police then noticed that the substance was marijuana sealed in a saran wrap…”

The report continued that one or more of them “were taken to the Glendon hospital where they further threw up additional packages of the illegal substance…”

The report confirmed our earlier information of the apprehension and arrest of another resident Jamaican national who reportedly colluded with the men to ‘smuggle’ the drugs into the island.

As to the bungling of the matter by the police creates the potential, to lose before the courts, as attorneys who tried to meet with the detained and arrested, were repeatedly prevented from seeing or speaking to their clients.

Some of the men have already been to the courts and have pleaded guilty without the benefit of an audience with the Attorneys, who point out that they were denied their Constitutional rights. They cite Section 6 which in part states: “Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right, at any stage and at his or her own expense, to retain and instruct without delay a legal representative of his or her own choice, and to hold private communication with him or her…”

Their clients complain that they were denied access to contact their relatives, which the attorneys note violates the same section of the Constitution: “…Every person who is arrested shall be informed, in a language that he or she understands and as soon as possible after he or she is brought to a police station or other place of custody, of his or her rights under subsection (3); and that person shall also have the right, and shall be informed and that person shall also have the right, and shall be informed at the same time that he or she has the right, to remain silent and to have one person informed by the quickest practicable means of his or her arrest and whereabouts.

The accused were charged generally with the following: Conspiracy to Engage in Drug Trafficking. Conspiracy to import a controlled Drug; Drug Trafficking; Possession of Cannabis Sativa with intent to supply; Possession of Cannabis Sativa Contrary to varying clauses of Section 7 of the Drugs (Prevention  of  Misuse)  Act Cap 4.07 of the Revised  Laws of Montserrat 2013, and Common Law.

In one instance the resident accused was charged with Assisting in the commission of an offence  outside  of  Montserrat:  between the 1st day of October 2017 and the 20th day of October 2017 in a place outside of Montserrat namely , Antigua, assisted Shanardo Morrison,  Richard Russell and Christopher Russell , in the commission of an offence namely, drug trafficking.  Contrary to Section 21 of the Drug (Prevention  of  Misuse) Act Cap 04.07.

Towards the end of the week one of the attorneys reported and alleged that some or all of the accused had been encouraged or coerced in appearing at court after being charged without the opportunity to speak meaningfully with the attorneys in any way, where they pleaded guilty and were remanded to await sentencing.

The attorneys report that they will move to have those pleas reversed and will move that their constitutional rights had been violated.

The foregoing was TMR’s report up to October 30, but on the following day there was a surprising development.

 Press excluded from hearing Court proceedings

On November 1 the charged most of whom had already entered guilty pleas appeared in Court, this time with one of the Attorneys. When the matter was called with the temporary acting Magistrate Colin Meade (substantive ECSC High Court Registrar in Montserrat) on the bench, he was petitioned by the DPP Sullivan, to exclude the press from the proceedings and for reporting on them. The general ground for the request was for reasons of ‘National Security’ as the investigations were still ongoing. The Ag Magistrate with opposition arguments from Attorney Warren Cassell ruled accordingly in favour of the request from the DPP. The only press personnel present, Bennette Roach of The Montserrat Reporter was asked to leave the Magistrate’s Court.

Official court sources later informed that the matters were adjourned to a later date, while the accused were returned to jail, with bail refused the resident accused, on grounds that he would not be able to contaminate witnesses or assist other persons who may be charged with the ongoing investigations.

A request for permission to obtain photographs of the accuseds was denied but it was later discovered the request never reached the Magistrate.

Posted in Court, Crime, Featured, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Gonsalves T

Gonsalves speaks on US-St. Vincent cooperation following Manafort arrest


By Peter Richards

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Nov 1, CMC – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says his country had been providing assistance to United States authorities since 2014 as it relates to the indictment  in that country of  Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the US President Donald Trump election campaign team.

Manafort and his long-time associate, Rick Gates, were on Monday slapped with money laundering and tax evasion charges.

Gonsalves in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) said that on assuming office in 2001, his administration revamped “very strongly” the laws in relation to the proceeds of crime and anti-money laundering, establish a Financial Services Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) “which is arguably one of the best in the Caribbean.

Gonsalves T
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves delivering a lecture
in Trinidad on Tuesday night (CMC Photo)

“We very swiftly became accepted as a member of elite FIUs the world over, the Egmont Group (and) we are absolutely on no list dealing with issues of money laundering, we have a clean bill of health from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, from the OECD (Organization for Economic  Cooperation and Development)”.

He said these regional and international organisations deal with the guidelines for money laundering.

He said with regards to the Paul Manafort issue, long before Robert “Bob” Mueller became the special prosecutor “the subject matter was one of interest to certain authorities in the United States and they made contact with our FIU and our FIU provided all the requisite information.

“Then they followed up in 2016 and a request was made not too long ago which has been dealt with under the mutual assistance treaty in criminal matters (MLAT). They made a request through the Justice Department and we have dealt with that,” Gonsalves told CMC.

According to the indictment, between at least 2006 and 2015, Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of work in Ukraine.

In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, the defendants laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts,

In furtherance of the scheme, the defendants allegedly funnelled millions of dollars in payments into foreign nominee companies and bank accounts, opened by them and their accomplices in nominee names and in various foreign countries, including Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Seychelles, the indictment said.

Gonsalves told CMC “we have cooperated fully” and reiterated the joint position outlined by the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC), the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Financial Intelligence Unit in his country denouncing the description of the island as being “notorious for money laundering” and a “prime money laundering destination”.

The three entities said they considered “such descriptions linking St. Vincent and the Grenadines with money laundering to be “uninformed, outdated, erroneous and inaccurate” and Gonsalves said “that’s the view of a journalist who doesn’t know what is happening in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“He might have looked up something from 2000 when St. Vincent and the Grenadines was blacklisted because of quote unquote money laundering. Not that it had a lot of money laundering, but its regime to fight money laundering was very loose,” he told CMC.

Gonsalves noted that the local authorities have been cooperating with the United States “and St. Vincent and the Grenadines has not done anything other than act quite properly in this matter.

“I am happy to know that they are pleased with the assistance St. Vincent and the Grenadines has provided,” he said, adding that an examination of the list of financial institutions listed in the indictment “against Manafort and his sidekick, there are 17 of them in the United States…13 of them in Cyprus, one in the United Kingdom and two in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but one of the two a mirror image of the other one involving the same personalities…”

“We have a clean jurisdiction and we have cooperated fully with the US authorities and we have absolutely nothing which can be put at us as we have done anything wrong. It is clear, absolutely clear,” Gonsalves told CMC.

He has pledged to ‘continue to cooperate “with the US authorities, adding “their FIU in America and our FIU belong to the Egmont Group and they share information and we have a mutual treaty in criminal matters with the United States and that has been operationalise.

“We are a very responsible international finance destination,” Gonsales told CMC.

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Mueller Raises Pressure on Trump With Papadopoulos-Russia Link

Bloomberg +

By Greg Farrell and Chris Strohm

31 October 2017

  • Using junior aide as cooperating witness, he’s after others
  • Court filing suggests campaign aides aware of Russian attempts

Follow the Trump Administration’s Every Move

Before laying out the charges against Papadopoulos on Monday, Mueller unsealed indictments against former campaign manager Paul Manafort and an aide, Rick Gates, who have been put under house arrest. Those indictments focus on their business dealings without mentioning Russian collusion, and the Papadopoulos charges don’t name the campaign officials said to have received his information.

Trump on Tuesday morning dismissed the charges as bunk in a series of tweets, misstating the timeline of events that prosecutors laid out, which stretch until this year:

“The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manafort’s lawyer said, there was ‘no collusion’ and events mentioned took place long before he came … to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!”

But Hilder sees a connection.

“This may not look like it’s related to Manafort, but they’re all intertwined, and the several roads lead to the same location,” he said.

Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga: QuickTake Q&A

According to prosecutors, various campaign officials supported Papadopoulos’s contacts with Russians. (“Great work,” an unnamed supervisor responds to one of his emails reporting back.) How high that support went, and who knew about it, will be an important thread for prosecutors.

In March 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to Trump a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Jeff Sessions, then a foreign-policy adviser and now attorney general, shot down the idea, according to a U.S. official. Papadopoulos kept pitching the notion, according to the court filing. In April 2016, he emailed a high-ranking Trump campaign official “to discuss Russia’s interest in hosting Mr. Trump,” prosecutors said.

Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor who’s now managing director of consulting firm Berkeley Research Group LLC, said that after Papadopoulos’s arrest in July, Mueller may have used him to make recordings that could result in charges against others.

“Anyone who’s had a conversation with that guy since July until last night should be thinking about what they said to him,” Cramer said.

Trump, Russia and the Early Murmurs About Pardons: QuickTake Q&A

Taken together, the charges against the three men reveal that Mueller’s team has access to tax documents and international financial records going back years, as well as internal emails and other information related to those who worked on Trump’s presidential campaign.

“This shows they’re putting their nose to the grindstone and they’re bringing rock solid cases,” Cramer said.

The charges show how decisions that Trump made when he was still a long-shot candidate are coming back to haunt him. He threw together a ragtag team of political operatives and campaign advisers with scant vetting or experience. The documents describe an atmosphere of frantic grasping for an edge against Clinton, who personified the political establishment.

Although the Papadopoulos filing doesn’t name any other Trump campaign officials, the descriptions of the former junior foreign policy adviser’s emails to these people sends a clear message: Mueller’s team knows a lot about what went on in the campaign. The depth of that knowledge could impact some of those officials’ decisions on whether to cooperate with Mueller.

Long List

The list of possible targets is long, and may include former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who, like Manafort, initially failed to disclose work for foreign interests.

After he left the administration, Flynn filed an updated registration form showing that he hadn’t disclosed contacts and payments from foreign entities while serving Trump starting in February 2016.

At the time, Flynn, a retired Army general, ran a consulting business. In one case, Flynn Intel Group received $530,000 from Inovo BV, a Dutch company working for Turkey’s government, to lobby the U.S. for extradition of a dissident cleric who has opposed President Recep Erdogan.

FBI agents asked Flynn in January whether he talked with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak of Russia about sanctions imposed by then-President Barack Obama in retaliation for Russia’s election meddling.

Flynn Resigns

Flynn resigned Feb. 13 after only 24 days on the job. In his resignation letter he apologized to the president for giving “incomplete information” about his interactions with the Russian ambassador.

Papadopoulos’s cooperation also could ratchet up pressure on other former campaign officials. They include Corey Lewandowski, who was running the campaign when Papadopoulos was channeling Russian requests, before Manafort took over in May, and Sam Clovis, a talk-radio host who was a senior policy adviser.

Carter Page, a campaign adviser who traveled to Moscow in July 2016 and delivered a speech there that criticized U.S. foreign policy, said in an email that he had no relationship with Papadopoulos. He said he is focused on his libel lawsuit against Yahoo News over an article last year that said he had met with senior Russian officials in an attempt to soften U.S. sanctions against Moscow.

The Mueller investigation is also wrapping in some Democrats. According to the Manafort indictment, two unidentified Washington lobbying firms were paid $2 million for work related related to Manafort’s clandestine influencing scheme.

One of the firms, cited only as Company B in the indictment, is the Podesta Group, according to a person familiar with the matter. Tony Podesta, the brother of Clinton’s former campaign manager John Podesta, left the firm Monday, the person said.

— With assistance by Kevin Whitelaw, David Voreacos, and Peter Robison



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Browne Asot

PM defends decision to strip from office Investment and Tourism Minister

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Oct 27, CMC – Prime Minister Gaston Browne has described the investigation involving his former tourism and investment minister Asot Michael as “a serious matter” insisting that Michael “was actually arrested on a serious issue” in the United Kingdom earlier this week.

Browne, speaking on Observer radio here, said that after he was briefed orally on the situation regarding the arrest, he immediately requested that law enforcement authorities in Britain submit the information in writing to Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner to London, Karen Mae-Hill.

Browne Asot
Prime Minister Gaston Browne (left) and
former minister Asot Michael (File Photo)

“I was told by the high commissioner that he was actually arrested on a serious issue…we were told it was not a frivolous arrest, that it was a serious matter, that the international police, INTERPOL and the metropolitan police [were] actually following.
“And, I also understand that it included the local police as well. And, as a result of certain information they would have gathered, that is what led to this action,” Browne told radio listeners.

Earlier this week, Michael in a statement, said he was “sorry” that Prime Minister Browne had not contacted him prior to making public his removal from the Cabinet.

“I propose to speak to him as soon as possible, and to explain the situation,” Michael said, adding that he had also been informed that a local radio broadcast had indicated “that the police in England informed me that I would be required for further questioning.

“This is untrue. The police did not say this to me,” he added.

Michael has since said that he has been advised by his lawyers not to make any further comment on the situation regarding his detention in the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Browne said he is still awaiting a document from the British authorities explaining why the National Crime Agency (NCA) took Michael into custody.

“I am aware. I and the one who requested the high commissioner to get what they told her verbally in writing. This was done after I received information and took the necessary action to relieve Minister Michael, or former minister for that matter, Michael of his ministerial position.

“My understanding is that former minister Michael was arrested for conspiracy to bribe. My understanding is that the bribe action may not have taken place and this is what I have been told – conspiracy to bribe involving a U.K. national.”

Prime Minister Browne said he has since assumed the tourism, investment, economic development and energy portfolios.

Earlier this week, the minority opposition Democratic National Alliance (DNA) questioned the: haste” in which Prime Minister Browne removed Michael from his cabinet.

In a statement, the DNA said that while like the rest of the country it will “follow this unprecedented development with keen interest”, it has taken note of the “rapid” move by the prime minister to revoke the appointment.

“It is a well-established legal principle that every accused is innocent until proven guilty. However the DNA finds it more than curious that Prime Minister Browne acted with rapid fire in revoking Minister Michael’s appointment as a Cabinet Minister and relieving him of all portfolio responsibilities,” the DNA said in the statement.

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Corporal Melvin Smith, shot dead in Mandeville

Cop shot dead in Manchester

The Jamaica Observer

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Corporal Melvin Smith, shot dead in Mandeville

 Corporal Melvin Smith, who was shot dead in Mandeville last evening. 

MANCHESTER, Jamaica — The Manchester community is in mourning following the shooting death of a well-loved policeman yesterday evening.

He is identified as Corporal Melvin Smith.

Preliminary reports are that he was shot while trying to foil a robbery in the town of Mandeville and was pronounced dead at hospital.

Smith has been serving the Jamaica Constabulary Force for more than a decade.

His latest position was a member of the Community Safety and Security Branch at the Mandeville Police Station.

Posted in Crime, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments


The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017