Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2014 Contents RADHICA SOOKRAJ
Minister of National Security Gary
Griffith says there is no witch-hunt
to target illegal African immigrants
as only nine out of 651 Africans have
been deported for 2014.
He was responding to criticisms that
undocumented Africans were being
targeted by Government and treated
Chastising the chairman of the
Emancipation Support Committee
Khafra Kambon for "making mischie-
vous statements about racial profiling,"
Griffith warned that all illegal immi-
grants had until February to become
"If not, we will take every action to
ensure that they are deported to their
homeland," Griffith said
He denied Kambon s statements that
80 per cent of the immigrants currently
detained at the Immigration Detention
Centre, Arima, were from Africa.
"There are 131 detainees currently
housed at the Immigration Detention
Centre and only 23 detainees are African
nationals. These include 14 from Nige-
ria, seven from Ghana and two from
Senegal and South Africa respectively,
Saying this represents only 17.8 per
cent of the total number of detainees,
Griffith added: "651 people have been
repatriated from T&T to the Caribbean,
Latin American, European and African
countries in 2014 of which only nine
were African nationals.
"Investigations have revealed that
many illegal immigrants have resorted
to entering into sham marriages and
marriages of convenience. People pay
exorbitant sums of money to their
prospective spouse in return for the
acquisition of resident status.
"These persons frequently exploit
the marriage legislation of certain reli-
gions which do not require the posting
of banns or notices, despite not belong-
ing to the religion.
"These marriages are registered by
the Ministry of Legal Affairs without
any verification of the person s legal
immigration status, which is not cur-
rently a requirement under any of the
aforementioned marriage legislation.
"This raises serious concerns regard-
ing human trafficking, money laun-
dering and other transnational criminal
activities which may be taking place
under the guise of marriage, which is
a sacred institution."
Contacted yesterday Kambon said it
was unfortunate that Africans were
denied the opportunity of becoming
regularised. He said the longest serving
immigrants at the detention centre were
Africans. Kambon also said the deported
Africans deserved a chance to have
their matters reviewed before they were
"We are calling for an evaluation like
any decent civilised country does, espe-
cially to those who have families," Kam-
bon said. He added that it was pre-
posterous for $2.6 million to be spent
to send the Africans home.
On Sunday, a Caribbean Airlines
chartered flight, costing the State $2.6
million, took 11 Ghanians back to Africa
after the High Court and Appeal Court
threw out legal challenges to block the
deportation order in a marathon
Griffith said the charter flight was
justified and his ministry would con-
tinue to pay special interest in the
organised criminal gangs.
A senior immigration officer, who
requested anonymity, said the detainees
were criminals as they had broken the
He said under Section 40 of the
Immigration Act, people engaging in
or facilitating marriages of convenience
were aiding and abetting illegal immi-
grants to (circumvent) immigration laws
were subject to criminal prosecution
which might lead to a maximum of
three years imprisonment and a fine
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A man who was beaten and held
when he went to the Gasparillo Sec-
ondary School allegedly armed with
a gun appeared in court yesterday
charged with gun possession and
assault of two schoolboys.
Jerome Mahabir, 24, of St Margaret s
Village, a father of one, whose right eye
was black and blue, complained he was
beaten by a police officer while in a
police van at the school.
He appeared before San Fernando
Fourth Court Magistrate Margaret Alert
on charges arising out of the incident
He was not asked to plead to any of
Two charges alleged he unlawfully
assaulted Laudelle Fifield and Antonio
Simon, both 14, at the school.
He was also charged with possession
of a .380 revolver. The charges were
laid by WPC Serah-Jane Dindial of the
Gasparillo Police Station.
Asking for bail, Mahabir s attorney
Ainsley Lucky said his client was a self-
employed glass installer, married and
the father of a six-month-old daugh-
ter.Prosecutor Sgt Parasan Ramsumair
objected to bail on the basis that the
offences were serious and he allegedly
committed those offences while on bail.
He said the tracing showed Mahabir
had two pending matters for marijuana
and house-breaking and also a previous
conviction for marijuana.
However, Lucky argued that the
charges were not similar or as serious
as the instant charges.
The magistrate said she was con-
cerned that the alleged offences took
place on a school compound.
"Very worrisome," she said, adding
that the bottom line was that the
accused allegedly committed those
offences while on bail for other criminal
She denied him bail and adjourned
the matter to December 29. However,
the matter was recalled minutes after
when Lucky brought to the court s
attention that Mahabir was claiming
he had no pending matters.
Noting that often the criminal records
were not updated, she told Lucky that
defence attorneys need to "make noise"
to have that matter rectified.
She said often the defendants are
burdened with having to present court
extracts to prove that they had no pend-
Alert adjourned the matter to Friday
for the police to provide an updated
JENSEN LA VENDE
Doubles vendor Donald Ramroop, who was shot when
bandits stormed his Barataria home seven months ago, is
seeking the public s help to raise $70,000 to get back on his
Speaking with the media outside the Forensic Science Centre,
St James, yesterday during a stop-off on their way to the Port-
of-Spain General Hospital Ramroop s brother, Nirmal, and
other relatives said they were tired of the runaround from
Ramroop was at his home at Seventh Avenue, Malick, on
May 7 when two armed bandits stormed in. He and his wife
were preparing doubles just after 2 am.
The bandits demanded money from the couple and shot the
42-year-old in the abdomen. The bandits escaped with a silver
Since then the couple have been assisted by relatives. After
spending close to $100,000 at West Shore Medical they are
now unable to afford another $70,000 for further surgery.
Ramroop had colostomy surgery at the Eric Williams Medical
Complex (EWMSC) and was turned away at the Port-of-Spain
General Hospital because he was treated at EWMSC.
"We applied for welfare since this happened because he can t
work and they said in December they would do it. When I
went recently they said the person seeing about the file gone
on holidays. We would appreciate any assistance," Donald s
wife, Victoria, said.
She said during the robbery her husband threw hot oil on
his attackers since their four children were in the house.
She said another colostomy was needed for her husband
who has lost weight since the shooting. The woman said the
new surgery would cost $70,000 privately but that was more
than she could afford.
Gunshot victim Donald Ramroop, of Seventh Avenue, Malick,
Barataria, speaks with reporters outside the Forensic Science
Centre, St James, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Griffith on deportations:
Robbery victim in
need of $70,000
Man, 24, beaten at school on assault charges
Links Archive December 8th 2014 December 10th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page