Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 26th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 26, 2014
JENSEN LA VENDE
Close to 150 remanded prisoners
from the Maximum Security and
Golden Grove Prisons in Arouca
engaged in a hunger strike yester-
day. They refused all meals from
the prison service as well as from
The T&T Guardian was reliably
informed that the prisoners took
the action in protest over the slow
pace with which their matters are
being dealt with in the courts - both
at the magisterial and high court
levels. The prisoners said some of
them have been on remand for over
five years and their matters are still
pending. They are also upset at the
pace of appointment of Legal Aid
The inmates, the T&T Guardian
was told, are adamant that the
action is a result of their frustration
at court delays and not linked to
the prison officers current plight
over a lack of proper equipment to
carry out their duties.
The prisoners also criticised pro-
posals for the purchase of the Santa
Rosa rehabilitation centre, saying
that the backlog in the courts would
The prisoners said they would
engage in the hunger strike for one
week and if no progress is made
they will extend it until they are
given the resolution they are seeking.
The T&T Guardian was also told
that the prisoners are refusing to
accept visits from their relatives, so
that the prison service could not
say they are eating meals from their
relatives but not the prisons.
In a telephone interview yester-
day, president of the Prison Officers
Association, Ceron Richards, said
the hunger strike had nothing to do
with his men, but was as a result
of the prisoners s anger over the
delay in court matters.
At a press conference last week,
Richards said: "Officers are going
to take their frustration out on the
job, they are going to withdraw their
support from the job and the asso-
ciation will be there to support."
Richards said the threat stemmed
from the Government s failure to
carry out the recommendations of
a special committee for prison
reform. The committee, led by Prof
Ramesh Deosaran, was set up by
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar to address their concerns
after the murder of their colleague
Andy Rogers in November last year.
Richards explained that several
of the initiatives, including the intro-
duction of cellphone jammers and
powerful full body scanners, are still
pending and this is frustrating his
Repeated calls to Prisons Com-
missioner Conrad Barrow went
An accident has claimed yet
another victim, this time in
The victim was identified as Dul-
cie Ranjitsingh, who died on Sunday
after she lost control of the vehicle
she was driving and ran into anoth-
er vehicle heading in the opposite
direction along the Solomon
Hochoy Highway in Chaguanas.
Police said Ranjitsingh was head-
ing south when on reaching the
Chaguanas Flyover, she lost control
of her vehicle. The car crossed the
median and collided with a vehicle
being driven by Robert James.
Ranjitsingh died on the spot
while James was taken to the
Chaguanas Health Facility for med-
There have been 70 road deaths
for the year so far.
Arrive Alive says speeding and
drunk driving have been the two
main causes of road accidents. But
despite their repeated warnings and
the evidence of frequent road
deaths, motorists continue to ignore
traffic rules and drive recklessly.
It is 72 days now since 28-year-
old Oren McKenzie, of Gran Couva,
disappeared without a trace.
And his parents Ben and Stella say
as each day goes by it is taking a piece
out of them.
McKenzie disappeared on June 14
after he left home to buy items at a
grocery in Couva.
He was last seen around 6 pm the
same day after he entered a PH taxi
at Isaac Junction.
He is the only child of his parents,
who own Stella s Bar opposite the
Gran Couva Police Station. McKenzie
is also the father of a three-year old
His father Ben said what confuses
the family most is that to date the
police have not picked up the print-
outs of his son s Digicel phone records
to assist them in the probe.
"I went to the Digicel office in Port-
of-Spain soon after Oren went miss-
ing and was told the information
about the last calls my son made is
printed out and ready to be collect-
"They said I could not collect it,
that there are only three officers in
the country who can pick them up,"
Ben McKenzie told the T&T Guardian
The senior McKenzie said he got
the names of the police and took the
information to the Anti-Kidnapping
Squad in Central so they could contact
But McKenzie said the Central divi-
sion AKS said they had also been
waiting to for records for other cases
for several months from their col-
leagues and advised him to get the
media to highlight the matter.
He said the case was aired on
Crime Watch three times but there
has been no word on his son as yet.
"People keep telling me they spot-
ted him in Preysal, Freeport, Mayaro.
I would rush to those places and
search but would not find him any-
where," McKenzie said.
He said on the last occasion a
woman said she saw his son in a
Freeport supermarket. He went to
thew supermarket, got a security
camera recording and searched every
face but did not see his son.
He said his wife Stella, who cries
constantly, is diabetic and suffers with
a heart condition.
"My health has taken a nosedive
with all the stress but it is Stella I am
most worried about," he said.
McKenzie said his gut feeling is
that his son is alive and left home
because of problems he had.
"We heard a girl is pregnant and
the child might be his. And he had
problems at work," he said.
"The police told us he is a big man
and can do what he wants. But we
love him very much and would like
him to come home. Oren, if you are
out there, please forgive us if we have
McKenzie said the family is now
relying solely on prayers to bring their
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Five men, including two from
Beetham Gardens, were caught
stealing steel at the Edinburgh
500 Towers in Chaguanas on
The men are expected to appear
before a Chaguanas magistrate
Senior Superintendent of the
Central Division, Johnny Abra-
ham, received information about
the robbery and passed te infor-
mation on to the Chaguanas
When the police arrived at the
Housing Development Corpora-
tion project, they caught the men
loading a five-tonne truck with
Officials at the HDC were con-
tacted and thanked the officers
for their quick response.
CID detective Leehsan Hosein
Parents slowly lose hope
as son missing 72 days
Read! Watch! Ca$h!
jackpot at $10,000
Woman dies in Chaguanas accident
...Tired of delays in court system
5 men held stealing steel at HDC project
Manager of the Gardens Boxing Fitness Programme, Kirt Sinnette,
left, puts on a demonstration with his student Celeste Villafana
during yesterday's opening of the Basilon Street Youth Facility in
East Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
BOXING AT BASILON STREET
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