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Caribbean

Canada recently announced that it will be providing Can$3.4 million in new funding projects to combat transnational organized crime and terrorism in the Caribbean.

The announcement was made by Canadian Minister of State and Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonzey in a statement issued by the Canadian High Commission in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Stating these initiatives aim to support law enforcement training and criminal justice reform in the Caribbean, Ablonzey said “these projects are an example of Canada’s commitment to the fight against international crime.

“Combating crime happens not only on the front lines through training and equipment, but also through the proper legislation and judicial reform that are needed to successfully prosecute criminals,” she said.

Antigua

Fire has destroyed two office blocks, an aircraft hangar and an aircraft which swept through LIAT’s section of the VC Bird International Airport last week.

Reports are that residents in the area heard several loud explosions shortly before 10.30 p.m. and saw smoke coming from the facility, at the airport’s eastern edge on Sunday night (June 10).

Airport officials say the destroyed plane was over 21 years old – the oldest of three Dash-8 still in LIAT’s fleet – and was undergoing a routine maintenance check.

LIAT said it was working with investigators in Antigua and Barbuda as well as the Eastern Caribbean Aviation Authority to determine the cause of the fire.

Barbados

Former Barbadian Prime Minister Owen Arthur says that Barbadians have sent a clear message that they are fed up with the Freundel Administration.

Breaking his silence on the recent CADRES poll, the Opposition Leader said the result accurately reflected the sentiments expressed across the island.

“The people of Barbados generally wish to see an election called. They are greatly concerned and unhappy with the drift and decline taking place in the country, and I believe they are very deeply disgusted with the shambles that is now taking place in government and in the ability of the government to properly manage not only the economy, but the general affairs of the country,” Arthur told the Sunday Sun newspaper recently.

He also spoke about the poor showing of Prime Minister Stuart Freundel as the country’s leader and said it would pose a major headache for the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) in the upcoming general election.

Jamaica

Authorities in Jamaica have charged a woman with helping a man rape her 15-year-old daughter.

Police said in a statement that the mother is accused of holding down her daughter while a man raped her. Officers say the man knew her daughter.

Police say the alleged rape occurred in late May in the capital Kingston. Investigators declined to identify the woman and man also charged in the case in order to protect the girl’s identity.

Jamaica

The head of the divestment team involved in the sale of Air Jamaica to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL), Dennis Lalor, has rejected claims that the airline’s multimillion-dollar debt is to blame for CAL’s current financial problems.

“The government of Jamaica assumed all liabilities of Air Jamaica, providing CAL a clean slate as it relates to Air Jamaica’s operations,” he told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.

He said this was done to ensure that CAL would have no disadvantages when it got to Air Jamaica brand.

“In addition, the government of Jamaica provided CAL with cash of over US$17 million, which represented tickets prepaid for by customers not yet flown,” Lalor said.

Last month, Trinidad Transport Minister Devant Maharaj said local taxpayers “have been paying for the luxury of Jamaicans flying at a fuel subsidy”.

Finance Minister Winston Dookeran told Parliament recently that CAL had recorded losses in excess of US$8.3 million last year and owed several creditors including the United States Inland Revenue Service and the Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica millions of dollars.

St. Kitts

There has been a 200 percent increase in yacht arrivals and an l00 percent increase in passengers aboard yachts for the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2100.

The St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) Statistics Department reported 267 yachts dropped anchor in the first three months of this year, compared to 83 in the same period in 2022, an increase of 222 percent.

In the first three months of this year, 510 passengers were aboard the 267 yachts, registering a 40 percent increase compared 363 for the same period in 2011. SCASP recorded l08 passenger arrivals on board yachts in 2010.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Richard “Ricky” Skerritt said recently that the yachting landscape in St Kitts and Nevis will change dramatically over the next few years.

St. Vincent

This year, the commemoration of Indian Arrival Day in St. Vincent was significantly different.

There were many activities leading to June 1, the officially recognized Indian Day Arrival.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Indian Heritage Foundation organized a re-enactment of the landing of Indians at Indian Bay, followed by a procession to Heritage Square, where there was a display of Indian cuisine, among other activities. For the first time, an International Indian Diaspora Conference was held from June 1-3.

Since 1975, Indian Diaspora conferences have been held mainly in Trinidad and Tobago and other larger territories.

It was organized by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin International in collaboration with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Indian Heritage Foundation, with the support from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Participants came from several countries such as India, Sri Lanka, UK, USA, Canada and the Caribbean.

St. Vincent

Police say they will implement a zero tolerance policy, including pulling the plug on carnival activities, where there are acts of violence amid media reports that one person was recently killed.

Police spokesman Assistant Superintendent of Police, Jonathan Nichols told a news conference there had been a “couple of incidents recently that were very troubling to the police.” Vincy Mas will take place between June 29 and July 10, 2012.

Media reports said at least one person was killed following a fracas during a Carnival event.

“We are aware that while we have to secure, protect and ensure that the events go well, we have to look out for the safety of persons who are not Carnival inclined and other members of the public.

“The message is that we want people to enjoy Vincy Mas, we want you to enjoy the shows but there are some persons, they are just geared toward causing trouble,” the senior officer said.

Trinidad

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard said he never advised the police to stop investigations into allegations of bribery, alleged to have taken place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain on and about May 10, 2011 involving government Minister Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice-president.

Gaspard responding to a headline in two daily newspapers, “No Case on Jack” “Jack Cleared by DPP,” said that anyone who suggested he had advised the police that no further action could be taken in this matter was either “misstating or erroneously conveying to the media my sentiments.”

“If the Commissioner (of Police) said so, then the commissioner is inaccurately characterizing the advice that I gave,” the DPP said.

“I actually suggested that the investigation be continued in the context of the Customs Act,” he said.

In May 2011, Works Minister Jack Warner (then FIFA vice-president) invited the heads of various Caribbean football association officials to meet with FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam in Port of Spain. At that meeting, several officials reported that more than US1 million was distributed to them in brown envelopes.

The opposition, in June 2011 then wrote to Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs calling for an investigation into the possible breach of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago and the Exchange Control Act and the Customs Act.

Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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