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Another RMPS marine loss

Heliconia Start

December opens up to another loss to the marine unit of the Royal Montserrat Police Services (RMPS).

dinghy minus engine

Sketchy information reaching TMR informs that the replacement dinghy of one lost earlier this year in September, ended up on rocks at Little Bay minus its “outboard engine” as seen here in the photograph.

It’s been reported that on receiving information that there will be rough seas overnight, the dingy was used to secure the Heliconia Star, returning to the port and the rough seas. This morning the dingy was found as seen, with no engine.

Many questions for the marine managers, including: “Why did they not spend the night outside the rough waters on the secured HS which is so well equipped with the dingy in tow?

still missing from September

Posted in Climate/Weather, Environment, Featured, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Dominicans-boat-washed-up-at-Rendezvous-DSC_0036

Dominicans sentenced to 4 years in jail, file appeal

The washed-up sailing vessel is still sitting on the Rendezvous Bay rocks while its masters sit in the Montserrat jail after seeking help in their distress

On Friday, October 18, 2019, two 26-year and 34-year old Dominican men pleaded guilty to an indictment which read, “MARTIN JNO BAPTISTE and DANNY HENRY, between the 5th day of September, 2019 and the 12th day of September, 2019, did, for material benefit, arrange for an unauthorised migrant to enter the territory of St Maarten, knowing or being reckless as to whether such person was an unauthorised migrant.”

Following our report last week on the matter, the men’s Attorney-at-Law Warren Cassell had hinted he was seeking instructions to lodge an appeal in the matter.

The two men were arrested and finally charged after their boat had run aground, washed up on the rocks at Rendezvous Bay when they then called the Royal Montserrat Police Service for assistance.

In the grounds of appeal the lawyer stated:  
1. The learned judge erred when he failed to uphold the submissions made on behalf of the Appellants that the facts alleged against the appellants amounted to a criminal offence under the Penal Code of Montserrat.
 2.  The proceedings were a nullity by virtue of the fact: (a)   that there was no evidence alleged to demonstrate that there was a connection to Montserrat of the actus reus and mens reas of the offence of smuggling unauthorized migrants to St. Maarten.
(b)  The indictment is duplicitous on its face.
 3.  The Learned trial Judge erred in law when he permitted the Appellants to plead to the offence of Smuggling Unauthorized Migrants.
Besides Cassell added: “the Appellants reserve the right to add new grounds of appeal and amplifications when a transcript of the proceedings and of the learned trial Judge’s reasons for sentence is delivered to them.”
Both men were sentenced to four years in prison, after a second count against them was dropped.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Crime, Featured, International, Local, News, OECS, Police, Regional0 Comments

Stepfather pleads guilty to raping 12-year-old child

Stepfather pleads guilty to raping 12-year-old child

by staff writer

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Nov 15, CMC – The High Court will sentence the stepfather of a 12-year-old child on January 24, next year after he pleaded guilty to having sex with her two years ago.

The man, who appeared before Justice Ian Morley admitted to having sex with his under-aged stepdaughter in 2017 and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 14 contrary to Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Act.

The court heard that the sexual offence occurred on December 17, 2017, but that he had been interfering with the child a year earlier.

Media reports said that the man, who was not named, continued having sexual intercourse with the child, who had a breakdown in class in January this year.

The girl told her classmate about her step-father and the man was subsequently arrested after her mother made a report to the police.

Posted in Court, Crime, Kids, Local, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Police kill suspect in the alleged rape of a 105-year-old woman

Police kill suspect in the alleged rape of a 105-year-old woman

by STAFF WRITER

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Nov. 3, CMC – A man who reportedly raped and sodomised a 105-year-old woman, was killed by the police on Saturday. 

The police report that the suspect, Miguel Edward, also known as Mad Max, was killed around 12 p.m. (local time).

Edward, who reportedly attacked the woman at her home earlier in the day, was killed as he attempted to flee to Martinique.

The police say he was about to board a boat and was fatally shot when he pulled a weapon on the law enforcement personnel. 

The police say, Edward was “a menace” and had been in and out of jail on several occasions.

Posted in Crime, International, News, Police0 Comments

Investigation launched into arrival of boatload of Haitians

Investigation launched into arrival of boatload of Haitians

by staff writer

BASSETERRE, ST. Kitts, Oct 21, CMC – Immigration officials have launched an investigation to determine how 15 Haitian nationals arrived here by boat on Sunday night, docking at the St. Kitts Defense Force’s Port in Bird Rock, on the outskirts of the capital.

Chief Immigration Officer, Merclyn Hughes told local radio stations that the investigation had been launched and the police are also assisting in the process.

Haitians migrants at sea (File Photo)

“We are just trying to assist them so we’re in the process of conducting interviews, but they are just being held for safekeeping. We know there’s a crisis in Haiti but we cannot say whether or not they fled from there so at this time we are just trying to ascertain what is the situation,” she said.

Media reports had indicated that the Haitians on arrival had been attempting to register at a nearby hotel, but the Immigration official said they are now being held at the Basseterre Police Station.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, told a radio station here that while the twin-island Federation does not have any specific policy with respect to Haitians, there is a process of dealing with any illegal immigrant regardless of nationality.

“We deal with them just like any other illegal immigrant landing in St Kitts and Nevis,” he added.

Despite being a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, many Caribbean countries require Haitians to be in possession of a visa so as to facilitate their entry into their countries.

Strangely, a news report out of Montserrat said the police speculated whether Hatians may have been those who two Dominicans sentenced to four years after their boat ran aground off the north end of Montserrat, having called the police for assistance with their stricken boat.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Crime, Environment, Legal, News, Police, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Warren Cassell (after Claudes case) DSC_7615

Montserratian Attorney speaks of police ‘stop and search’ tactics

Warren Cassell

As has become commonplace Attorney at Law Warren Cassell in a ZJBNews report has added his voice to the conversation surrounding ‘stop and search’ actions executed by members of the Royal Montserrat Police (RMPS) on civilians here.

A number of complaints have been made of police officers some allegedly wearing masks stopping and searching individuals. But lawyer Warren Council shoots down the arbitrary stop and search, stressing that there must be reasonable suspicion to engage in such action he says on this basis individuals including our client of his can seek redress in the courts.

Cassell says, “The Montserrat Constitution protects citizens and residents from arbitrary search of their person or their property.”

He said he has a client who is claiming on, “his right not to be searched unless it falls under some of the exceptions listed in the Constitution – he has been violated and therefore he’s seeking a declaration and damages for what happened on the night when masked police officers searched him.”

Cassell says, “…it was unwarranted, unlawful, it was unconstitutional.”

He explains, “In order to search somebody without a warrant. If you have a warrant is one thing, because then it will be authorized by the court. In order to search somebody without a warrant, you must have reasonable suspicion and you cannot just come and say I have reason to suspect. No, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it doesn’t exist like that.

“You can’t set up a road block and arbitrarily decide to search somebody or just be driving down the road and stop because you see somebody you don’t like and you feel that you could search them and search their vehicle as well, that is unconstitutional,” he concluded.

Cassell works full time with a law firm in Antigua. He conducts a weekly radio program in matters dealing with the law as he did previously in Montserrat. But, he still finds himself having to serve clients in Montserrat.

Posted in Legal, Local, News, Opinions, Police, Regional0 Comments

rasta protest march6

Police accused of wearing masks at ‘stop and search’ ‘routines’

Police tactics under complaint scrutiny

During this past week, an investigation has been launched into allegations made initially on social media, and accordinly from direct complaints about the approach taken by Officers while conducting stop and search procedures, here.

It is alleged that some officers of the RMPS, have been taking an aggressive approach when conducting stop & search activities. Some persons also claim that officers have been wearing facemasks, while carrying out these activities, and were not wearing ‘police’ uniform.  

Following now, is our first knowledge of the ongoing situation which is not from Social media, but as indicated.

Around the middle of the month our attention was drawn to an article by a colleague Jeevan A. Robinson – MNI Media | Date: 15 September 2019 – Montserrat | What is Happening at the RMPS? MNI Media Writes an Open Letter to the Gentlemen In Charge of the Royal Montserrat Police Service

It is further understood that names and identification as to who these Officers were, was refused when requested, Robinson said.

He continued that “The purpose of MNI’s open letter to you both today, as the two in charge of the RMPS, is not to offer condemnation; as I am almost certain that the aims of your role are to ensure that the island is served efficiently and appropriately by the Officers that make up the Police Service on Montserrat. However, MNI is sure you both are aware of recent instances where members of the public have been voicing openly, via social media, their concerns over the treatment they have experienced when interacting with some your Officers.

The article drew attention to a specific post on Facebook which we followed and found as follows: Trevon M Pollard 

September 15 at 1:45 AM · 

“Moments ago I was attacked by Four police officers Two from the previous batch released from the Montserrat Police Service and Two from the recent one all wearing dark clothing, except one in uniform they used indecent language, some threatening language such as you better watch yourself, you do not know what you have done , one also said Karma is a bitch, on not finding anything in my car they tried all kind of ploys to get me to attack one of them . One recruit as I was leaving threw himself on the bonnet of my car to say, “you want to knock me down that is assaulting an officer.” I am calling on the powers that be to take the necessary course of Justice as I made a formal report minutes ago.”

The MNIMedia editor in his article reported that he checked, as most journalists are expected to with stories that appear on social media, with Pollard.

He continued in his articled ‘open letter’, “It is known that factually the RMPS do conduct stop and search on members of the public. You have a job to do and that is understandable.

On the night Mr. Pollard was stopped and searched, it is understood that he was informed that he was suspected of having Cannabis (marijuana) in his possession. 

However, is it standard practice that RMPS Officers pull over citizens wearing face masks? Are these standard issue gear for your Officers? 

Is it also standard issue that your RMPS Officers should be wearing studded gloves that can inflict undue harm whether intentionally or unintentionally on members of the public with whom they come into contact?

Rastas marching up goverment headquaters

See the full article at: http://www.mnialive.com/articles/what-is-happening-at-the-rmps-mni-media-writes-an-open-letter-to-the-gentlemen-in-charge-of-the-roya

The information that came from this was shocking enough and got us all here asking questions with ZJBNews also picking up on the story and reporting later.

What we discovered was even more surprising particularly that before and after the Commissioner reacted on ZJB radio there have been similar and worse complaints before, regarding the conduct of the police with the public in fairly recent times. We were surprised to learn that several of these complaints had been made to the police before that which caused the media to call for answers.

One returning and visiting Montserratian woman complained of being aggressively hustled out of her car and accused of having too many persons in the car, never knowing whether these were indeed police. She did launch a complaint but was too shaken to ask for IDs etc or names of the person carrying out the stop. Another woman complained of being harassed having been stopped three times within a short space of time and asked the same question even after she had complied by taking her driver’s license and registration records to the police station, the first-time round.

Some similar complaints from persons who have been accosted by who they realise are police officers, later, sometimes after skirmishes or unpleasant exchanges with who they discover were police officers, wearing masks. The police were often, mostly in plain clothes and there was at least one person who said that there was in one instance an officer in uniform, but who hid initially, making identification of the alleged police officers.

The Commissioner when challenged with the issue initially was cautious but spent much time explaining the police functions require them in carrying out their protection of the law to behave in a certain way, that is in keeping with the law, pointing out that no one is above the law. Eventually on the matter of the masks, he said that they are not part of the police kit.  Later speaking with ‘Basil on the Breakfast show’ last Friday, he reported that an internal investigation is on the way. He requested that persons with evidence of the same experience to contact ‘the police, through whatever means they chose.

We discovered that several persons who experienced the ‘stop and search’ accompanied by reportedly unusual and aggressive behaviour, even suffered loss.

Some persons claiming themselves to be members of the Rastafarian community who gather around the Carrs Bay area in Montserrat, also complained that the police had been behaving improperly, impose and trespass on their constitutional rights.

Hearing little and fearing no positive response following their complaints they were eventually moved to protest, launching a march today, which was being planned since Wednesday, to the Governor’s office, with placards and chants: “Police in masks? Terrorists! What we need? Justice! And who are we? Rastafari!

Outside the Governor’s office, spokesperson Karen Allen with whom I had spoken the Wednesday, spoke briefly pointing out the concerns centering around how they feel their constitutional rights have been abused. There they requested and met with the Governor and the Police Commissioner.

At the Governor’s press meet on the Wednesday 26th, we raised the issue of the recent complaints of the unconventional activities and behaviour of the police and the discomfort and distrust the public was beginning to express. With time running out, he responded that he had great confidence in the Police Commissioner who he said was handling the situation as described earlier. He startled us however, that regards to the masks, denying the allegations, “there were no masks he said, they were police gear…”

We will update this report as to the outcome of the Rastas’ protest march which included one of the stops and search victims who lost property, and the subsequent meeting with Governor Pearce and Commissioner Foster.

Posted in Crime, Culture, Featured, Local, News, Police, Regional, Religion0 Comments

Police, government issue warning on new drugs labelled “Zeeser”

Police, government issue warning on new drugs labelled “Zeeser”

by staff writer

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sept 11, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government and police Wednesday said they were concerned at the proliferation of a new drug labelled “the Zesser Pill” that has been blamed for causing severe adverse physical and mental behavioural reactions in users.

The Ministry of National Security in a statement said that it is aware of the recent information circulating in the print and social media about the availability of the drug that is being sold for as much as TT$100 (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents).

“This drug has been attributed to causing severe adverse (physical and mental) behavioural reactions in users,” the Ministry said in a statement, quoting National Security Minister Stuart Young as advising “that the chemical composition of this drug has not yet been verified by the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre (TTFSC), but investigations are underway.

“The Ministry of National Security continues to urge the public to avoid the use of any substances with psychoactive properties, in the interest of their health, safety and wellbeing,” the statement said.

Speaking at the weekly Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) news conference, Acting Superintendent Wayne Mystar, law enforcement authorities are aware of the drug and that “based on our intelligence it is a combination of ecstasy and cocaine.

“It is in a powder form and it is also designed to look like sweets,” he said, adding “we are critically concerned about it and we are doing all in our power to get that dangerous drug off the street.”

Mystar said that the police are seeking to cooperate with the Ministry of Education to assess a programme “because we are realising that because of the infiltration of gangs into schools, the drug may well find itself within the schools.
“So that is something of concern to the TTPS and we are looking into that seriously,” he said, adding based on intelligence, the drug is circulating within parties and at schools.

“We are doing our investigations but what we want to advise principals …if you see something say something, that is our mantra. We are asking the parents to get involved to educate their children about accepting these things from strangers and as it relates to gangs trying to infiltrate we have a partnership with each school…to provide strategies that would keep a high security blanket across our nation schools,” he added.

Anti-substance abuse activist, Garth St. Clair, recently warned that the video posted on social media showing a number of young people passed out at the Hasely Crawford Stadium following a party, was troubling and urged young people to stay away from the drug that could kill them.

St. Clair said that the drug takes a long time to leave the body’s system and thereby prolonging the effect of heart attacks, paranoia, strokes, seizures, coma and even death.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Crime, Education, Environment, International, Kids, Local, News, Police, Travel, Youth0 Comments

Police seek expats who absconded from Bermuda

Police seek expats who absconded from Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Jul 4, CMC – The Police have launched an international manhunt for two former expatriate workers accused of fraud who they say have absconded from Bermuda.

Criminal charges involving US$1.8 million have been approved against the former chief financial officer of a Bermuda-based reinsurance company.

Yuval Abraham, who worked at Hiscox and whose whereabouts are unknown, faces eight counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception and nine counts of false accounting.

He is also charged with an attempt to obtain a money order by deception and one count of money laundering.

Acting Detective Superintendent Nicholas Pedro said an arrest warrant had been issued for Abraham, who has links to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Poland and Israel.

A second manhunt is under way for a Bermuda-based international life insurance company owner accused of investor fraud involving millions of dollars.

Ramesh Dusoruth, owner of St George’s Ltd, faces a charge of fraudulent inducement to deposit or invest and another of transferring criminal property.

He is also charged with three counts of transmission of false information to the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Dusoruth was arrested and charged with the offences, but failed to appear in Magistrates’ Court on March 21 and an arrest warrant was issued.

Pedro said Dusoruth is known to have business interests in Cyprus, Malta and Holland and has homes in London and Antwerp in Belgium.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Crime, Features, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

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Commemorating Her Majesty the Queen’s 93rd Birthday, and the usual awards


The parade to mark the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s 93rd Birthday 2019 in the 67th year (Sapphire Jubilee + 2) of her reign took place at the Salem Park on (Whit) Monday, June 10, beginning promptly at 8.00 a.m.

The parade brought together most, if not all of the uniformed bodies on Montserrat with visiting units from Antigua and St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, that came out and put on a good showing, although officials and commentators thought that the crowd did not match.

The usual Guard of Honour was drawn from the ranks of: Two Units from the Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF); One Unit from the Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS); One Unit from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF); One Unit from the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF); One Unit from the Royal Montserrat Police Service, and the Montserrat Secondary School (MSS) Sea Cadets; and One Unit from the MSS Cadet Corps (MSSCC).

The parade’s armed guard was joined by the following organisations: Montserrat Fire and Rescue Service; Her Majesty’s Prison Service; Boys and Girls Brigade; Girls Guides; Brownies; Red Cross Fist Aiders; and Seventh Day Adventist Path Finders.

The parade fell-in with the lead flags of the Royal Standard, the Union Jack and the Montserrat Flag, with featured flags, the RMDF Unit Flag, the RMPS Unit Flag and the MSSCC Unit Flag.

The Antigua and Barbuda Police Band and the RMDF National Marching Band provided the musical accompaniment for the parade, under the command of Capt. Peter W A White, OBE ED. Assisting the Commander – the Platoon Commanders – Capt. Colin H T Fergus, ED, Lt. Glenroy W Foster, RMDF, 2nd Lt. Darion Darroux, RMDF, Inspector Keniel Murrain, RMPS, Lt. Robert Labadie, ABDF, Lt. Gerald Connor, SKNDF, Inspector Courtney Rodney, RMPS, Cadet CSM Darius Lewis, MSSCC.

On invitation Her Excellency Ag. Governor Lyndell Simpson followed by Hon. Premier Romeo inspected the Parade, at the end returning to the Dais to await the Featuring of the Unit flags for the Montserrat Armed Guard on Parade, followed by the March Pass of the troops in slow and quick time, while the band played the appropriate music.

After marching through the ranks; the bearer of the Ensigns (Flags) accompanied by the guards and the RABPF Band did March Pass H.E. the Acting Governor. First the armed guard in slow time and then quick time as the other uniformed bodies.

The Royal Salute followed by the Feu – De – Joie (Fire of Joy), the drill of loading and firing the rifles there was the playing of the national anthem, followed then by Three Cheers to Her Majesty the Queen on order of the Parade Commander White.

The parade is brought back to order and Her Excellency, the Acting Governor then presented medals and awards as per the list here attached.

After the playing of few bars of the national Anthem the Ag. Governor leaves the parade, followed by the playing of the territorial song when the Premier then also departed.

The parade then left the parade ground marching through Salem Village centre to the Salem Police Station where the Parade Commander handed over the parade back to the Parade Sergeant Major, who issue final instructions and dismiss the parade.

Participants of the parade then partook of refreshments awaiting the return of the Ag. Governor to give the Loyal Toast.

List of Awardees

In accordance with Part 2 of the Efficiency Decoration and Efficiency Medal Regulations, the following soldiers will be awarded as follows:

Royal Montserrat Defence Force –

Efficiency Medal

1st Clasp – 18 Years of Service

 Acting Warrant Officer Class One Barry A.C. Williams

 Sergeant Deverson Semper

 Corporal Oswald West

 Lance Corporal Carlton Smith

Award of Medal – 12 Years of Service

 Corporal Carmencita Duberry

 Private Alison Richards

In accordance with Section 2 of the Colonial Police Long Service Medal Regulations of the Police Act Cap 10.01 the following Officers will be awarded as follows:.

Royal Montserrat Police and Fire Service

Second Clasp – 30 Years of Service.

 Superintendent of Prison Bennet Kirwan

 Inspector Ottley Laborde

First Clasp – 25 Years of Service

 Inspector Derona Chelsea Semper

Colonial Long Service Medal – 18 Years of Service

 Fire Fighter James Adams

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

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