Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 10th 2014 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
Parents be warned: date rape is a fact of life
in T&T. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan
delivered the warning yesterday while piloting
legislation in the Senate. He was speaking on
a bill to monitor precursor chemicals used in
the manufacture of narcotic drugs.
Many precursor chemicals are found in ingre-
dients used in the manufacturing and petro-
chemical field, the AG noted.
He said certain chemical substances made
locally and which are used to produce common
and everyday products, such as plastics, paint,
and pharmaceuticals, could also be diverted ille-
gally to produce drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Chemicals such as benzene and sulphuric acid
were also examples of substances produced here
that could be used to produce illicit drugs.
Ramlogan said the legislation did not only
seek to protect T&T from "the insidious threats
of external drug traffickers and terrorists but
also has significant importance locally as well."
Ramlogan added, "Precursor chemicals have
been known to be used in date rape drugs."
He said the Police Service s Victim and Support
Unit had confirmed cases of such sexual abuse
involving one or multiple partners.
Police have had to intervene in approximately
five such cases, it was confirmed. In one par-
ticularly harrowing account, the victim was with
friends and was given a drink only to wake up
a few hours later to discover that she was drugged
and raped. These instances of sexual abuse result-
ing from use of illicit drugs require intensive
Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapy, a report
Ramlogan said, "I warn all parents over the
coming Carnival period and with the Christmas
and parang festivities, speak to your daughters---
date rape is a fact of life in T&T."
He said the authorities had chronicled instances
of young girls going out and not returning home
as expected. He said when they did get home,
many could hardly recall prior events and it was
only when they felt pain and soreness that they
realised that something had happened to them
in previous hours.
He said when they felt they had blacked out
during their night out, it was really because
someone had "spiked" their drink---put a drug
Ramlogan said there were substances like Roh-
pynol ("Roofie") and others which made a person
delirious and induced hallucinations.
Rohpynol is a white or olive green prescription
drug---a sedative used in many US date rape
cases. It is sold in some countries but illegal in
Ramlogan said he d spoken to one girl who
related her experience. While out around 1 am,
he said, she felt delirious and giddy on the dance
floor and all of a sudden she was encircled by
a group of young men dancing around her.
She related that they had held her by her arms
and were taking her out of the area and she was
unable---feeling as she did---to signal for help or
indicate that she didn t know them.
"So now in T&T, it s not only about getting
a designated driver when you have to go out,
but also in having responsible friends, monitoring
who you re taking a drink from.
"Be alive to the possibility it could be spiked
and to knowing you have a personal responsibility
to protect yourself from yourself.
"Be alive to the possibility of this pernicious
evil taking root in T&T," Ramlogan said.
Ramlogan said many women going out now
drink only from bottles which had not been
opened before, to safeguard themselves.
The AG said recreational drugs were now a
habit, more like a badge of honour for some in
T&T. He said they were present in prestigious
areas and high society parties and the age of the
youths using them kept getting lower and lower.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PNM General Secretary Ashton Ford
made it clear yesterday that the party s
executive would not grant the San
Fernando East constituency execu-
tive s request to postpone the deadline
The executive had asked for an
extension from December 22 to January
3. After Ford wrote to them on Monday
repeating the December 22 deadline,
San Fernando East PRO Anthony Clarke
said the constituency office closes on
December 19 for Christmas and no one
would be available to do business until
it reopened on January 2.
Clarke said all of that was pointed
out in a letter sent to Balisier House
last Friday and this was why the exec-
utive had proposed the extension to
January 3. MP Patrick Manning had
also suggested the January 3 date, saying
he was seeking advice from his doctors
on his fitness to contest and would
address the unit on January 2 on
whether he would or not.
Clarke had hoped Balisier House
would receive the letter by Monday,
and said the executive was still hoping
for a change of deadline.
Asked yesterday if the PNM had
received the letter late, and if the lead-
ership would consider a postponement
or agree to January 3, Ford said the
deadline remained December 22.
He declined to say whether he would
contact the San Fernando East chair-
man on the issue or ask the unit to
keep its office open after December 19.
He said he did not want to say much
more on the matter.
Other PNM officials said the exec-
utive would not want to make a change
at this point, since the "situation is
getting out of hand now..."
Yesterday, Clarke said San Fernando
East was awaiting a reply from the
PNM executive, and if it came before
December 19, the executive might have
to have a special meeting to decide on
the way forward.
PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi, speaking
to Parliament reporters, said the sit-
uation was a very workable one and
the PNM was against the PP only.
AG: Date rape
drugs in T&T
No change to deadline for
Sando East nomination
Larry Howai, Minister of Finance and the Economy, left, makes a point to
Orville London, Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly when the
two met at a Christmas reception hosted by Issa Nicholas, chairman of the
Nicholas Group of Companies, at the Radisson Trinidad on Monday.
Listening in on the conversation are Jan Ryan, second left, Education
Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh, Speaker Wade Mark and Prof Selwyn Ryan.
PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
LEE SING: MANNING IS SPECIAL
MONITORING CHEMICAL REPORTS
NEW TRAFFICKING TECHNIQUES
But former city mayor Louis Lee
Sing expressed concern, saying he'd
spoken to Ford to say he was
handling matters the wrong way.
He said he suggested that Ford and
party leader Dr Keith Rowley
should have sought an audience
with Manning, rather than inviting
Manning to appear before the PNM
Lee Sing added, "The executive
has missed the boat in
understanding Mr Manning, who
isn't an ordinary person in the
scheme of things. In any society,
someone in his position would have
been given more respect than he
received from Ford and Dr Rowley. I
consider Mr Manning an extra
super-delegate, such as Ted
Kennedy was considered, and was
treated with due respect.
"I don't believe Mr Manning is
going to contest," Lee Sing
explained, "but I believe he wants
to nominate his choice. Some may
say the PNM's constitution doesn't
provide for that, but nor does it
provide for having Stuart Young in
Ramlogan said the precursor chemical
legislation was being drawn up since
Government in 1995 ratified the 1988 United
Nations Convention Against the Illicit Traffic in
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
Article 12 requires countries to implement
measures to control and monitor the legitimate
trade in drug precursors to prevent diversion of
"We're therefore obligated to ensure companies
resident here which import chemicals,
manufacture and export legitimate products
with high concentrations of precursors, account
for such chemicals in their trading patterns and
don't allow items intended for licit or
permissible use to become ingredients for those
intended for illicit use," he added.
"Some precursor chemicals are widely available
in T&T due to our large petro-chemical and
manufacturing base. It therefore raises no red
flags if certain chemicals, at reasonable
volumes, regularly enter and exit this country. "
Noting cocaine is now being smuggled in
wheelchair linings and in ceramic statues,
Ramlogan also said he would be meeting
with the Environmental Commission soon
since it had been noted that rare birds from
Venezuela were being used to transport
He said the birds were cut open, the drug
placed in their stomachs and sewn up again
and exported. He said the charges for
importing the birds might be a mere $200
compared to the millions worth of "coke" in
their stomach: "
So we have to keep ahead of the game,"
Ramlogan said a unit to monitor and deal
with precursor chemicals would be based at
the Strategic Services Agency which would
have specialist officers liaising with other
agencies on the matter.
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