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Antigua

More than EC $1million worth of marijuana was found at the deep water harbor in Antigua recently.

The Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) said the drugs were in two barrels and no one had been arrested in connection with the discovery.

It said the barrels arrived from the United States to an address in Antigua and that discovery was made during a joint operation between the ONDCP, and Customs and Port Authority officers.

The marijuana weighed 252 pounds and had a street value of more than a million dollars.

Customs officials said the barrels also contained personal items.

Barbados

China has donated Bds$10 million (US$5million) in teaching equipment to boost the education system in Barbados.

The donation was given to the Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones on behalf of the ministry from China’s Ambassador Wang Ke.

Prime Minister Frenduel Stuart expressed gratitude for the donation.

Jones said his ministry has started the distribution of the materials, which include 3,000 desktops, large monitors, 2,000 laptops and 9,000 tablets.

The education minister disclosed that 14,000 pieces of technology would be distributed to all public schools under the Education Act, and registered as bona fide schools in Barbados.

Jones stated that nearly every institution associated with education, science, technology would receive some part of the donation, which also included 2,500 chairs and 2,500 desks.

Dominica

The Dominica government is creating a major development to resettle the hundreds of residents who lost their homes after Tropical Storm Erika wreaked havoc across the island more than a year and a half.

The Petite Savanne Resettlement Program, which was established with the active support and encouragement of Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, will see the construction of 368 mixed units.

Construction started a few months ago and the erection of buildings is due to start this month on the 49-acre site, to be completed in three phases.

The development is being financed by Dominica’s Citizenship By Investment Program and is spearheaded by Montreal Management Consultants Establishment.

The new purpose-built modern living community features 340 residential homes, a commercial plaza (mini-mall) of 28 retails units, a farmer’s market and a community center.

The constructing phase will create 500-600 jobs for Dominica and is being handled by six contracting firms, five of which are local.

Guyana

Guyana says it could send future oil production to Trinidad and Suriname for oil to be refined.

Exxon Mobil Corp and partner companies say they have found between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil off the coast of Guyana, with production expected for 2020.

Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman told reporters “we recently had some overtures made by the Trinidad and Tobago government since they are operating right now below optimum and they are importing oil from Nigeria.”

He said Suriname has also indicated a willingness to do refining for Guyana because they have a refinery which is performing under par.

Guyana, which currently does not produce oil, is considering whether it would make economic sense to build its own refinery, Trotman said.

Jamaica

Amnesty International has criticized Jamaica over the rise in unlawful police killings and extra judicial executions according to a report by the country’s Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

INDECOM has reported an alarming rise in the number of fatal police shootings in just the first two months of this year.

According to the data, 31 people were killed by law enforcers in that period, a 55 percent increase over fatal incidents for the same period last year.

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force also shot and injured 11 other people.

Assistant Commissioner of INDECOM, Hamish Campbell said the rise in police killings is disturbing.

He also noted that 15 of those killed by the police were not in possession of any firearm. Only two cases involved illegal weapons.

Campbell warned that the current trend could result in an unprecedented rate which cannot augur well for Jamaica.

St. Lucia

The St. Lucia government is moving to ensure that the island improves its ranking on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.

This was disclosed during the second National Forum on Doing Business recently.

Held under the theme “Improving Efficiency in the Business Environment” the forum will help to assess the successes and challenges of the department in reforming the business environment across the island.

Commerce Minister Bradley Felix said it will also identify the measures that will receive priority attention as it restructures the economy to become more competitive.

Having ranked number 86 in the 2016 World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business Report,” the department in collaboration with the private sector continues to work assiduously to improve the business environment to make it better to do business in St. Lucia, the minister said.

Trinidad

The United States government has praised the Trinidad and Tobago government for its ongoing fight to combat the international drug trade despite facing many challenges.

This is according to the 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report which was recently released by the United States State Department.

The report said robust interdiction efforts continued through 2016, though overall seizures decreased from 2015.

The State Department also noted that Trinidad and Tobago maintains a narcotic control and law enforcement agreement which allows the US to patrol T&T waters, overfly its territorial sea and detain vessels suspected of trafficking drugs.

Trinidad and Tobago also has an extradition treaty with the US.

The State Department also said Government is an active partner in the US Caribbean Basin Security Initiative programs.

-Compiled by Azad Ali

Posted 12:00 am, March 13, 2017
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