Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 26th 2014 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 26, 2014
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A group of citizens who is
seeking to visit Mecca, Saudi
Arabia, for the annual Hajj pil-
grimage, wants the government
to intervene to recover pass-
ports and other official docu-
ments from Venezuelan
Speaking to the T&T
Guardian yesterday, Imam
Hamzah Mohammed, one of the
three imans who was released
from Venezuelan custody in
June, said the group had been
promised by the Government to
assist it in getting back the pass-
Mohammed was detained last
March in Venezuela with 15
other nationals, including
women and children. Five men
remain in custody. A hearing
before a Venezuelan tribunal is
scheduled for September 2.
The group of 15 had gone to
Caracas to get visas to visit Saudi
"When we were released in
June, we were promised by the
government, who said the orig-
inal documents ---our passports,
marriage certificates and birth
certificates---were properties of
the Government of T&T and
that they would help us to get
Mohammed said Hajj groups
were preparing to leave T&T in
two weeks time.
"Yet, for another time, a
group of Muslims are being kept
back. Initially, I had gone to
Venezuela to get visas for Umrah
and was arrested there. Now,
we are released but people s
passports, including mine, are
still in the hands of the Venezue-
Mohammed said two weeks
ago he, along with their
spokesperson attorney Nafeesa
Mohammed, met with govern-
ment officials including Minister
of National Security Gary Grif-
fith and Minister of Foreign
Affairs Winston Dookeran.
He said at that meeting the
government officials were
reminded of the passport issue
and how critical it was to have
the passports returned to their
owners so that they could pro-
ceed to perform Hajj, which is
a religious requirement, accord-
ing to the Holy Qur an.
"We already had to purchase
the plane tickets straight to Jed-
dah (Saudi Arabia) which cost
US$1,500 a person. This is a lot
of money and we cannot afford
to lose this. Already, for this
school vacation we could not
even take our children and family
for a vacation overseas."
Mohammed said he was cur-
rently attempting to seek a
meeting with Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the
He said he also sent a plea to
the Government on behalf of
the five persons still being held
in Venezuela on allegations of
A housewife and a Palmiste man who were
caught drinking and driving for a second time
yesterday were fined a total of $20,000 and
disqualified from driving for three years.
Sandra Pierre, 48, of Couva, and Andrew
Sahatoo were both fined earlier this year for
driving under the influence.
Yesterday, they appeared before San Fernando
Traffic Court Magistrate Rehanna Hosein for
the same offence.
Pierre was arrested on August 21 along
Southern Main Road, La Romaine, by PC
Mohammed after she was involved in a minor
Prosecutor Sgt Dianath Harricharan said her
reading was 162 microgrammes. The legal limit
is 35 microgrammes.
Hosein suggested she attend Alcohol Anony-
mous classes but she declined. Pierre, who
was represented by attorney Cedric Neptune,
denied having a drinking problem.
Apart from disqualifying her from driving,
the magistrate fined her $12,000 or three years
Sahatoo was arrested around 1.30 am on
Sunday near his SS Erin Road home. He
claimed he was drinking beers at his home
and left to buy something for his family to eat.
Sahatoo s reading was 69 microgrammes.
He admitted to being fined $6,000 for a
similar offence earlier this year.
Sahatoo asked the magistrate not to dis-
qualify him from driving but the magistrate
told him he should have thought about that
before he decided to drink and drive.
He was fined $8,000 or in default three years
Ex-Muslim detainees plea:
Release our passports
Man, woman on second
drunk driving charges...
for 3 years
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