Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 21st 2015 Contents A5
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
2 drug seizures
at port, airport
Searches by law enforcement
officers at two of T&T s major
ports foiled attempts by smug-
glers to export drugs.
Around 4 pm Monday, officials
from Cargo Consolidators Agency
Ltd found a rectangular plastic
container concealed in four sheets
of gypsum board at the LCL and
FCL export warehouse, Point
After inspecting the shipment,
Custom and Excise officers called
in the Organised Crime Narcotics
and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB)
who retrieved the two containers
and found 2.14 kilogrammes of
marijuana inside two brown-
taped, rectangular plastic wrapped
Up to yesterday officers were
tracing the origin of the shipment
but were yet to arrest anyone.
Later on, anti-narcotics officers
were on duty at the security
checkpoint at the ANR Robinson
Airport, Tobago, around 5 pm
when they stopped a 59-year-old
man who was scheduled to board
Condor Flight DE 1259 bound for
A search of his laptop carry-
on bag led to the recovery of 2.6
kilogrammes of cocaine in the
bag s lining.
The man was arrested and is
being questioned by police.
Guyana goes to
polls on May 11
Guyanese electors go to the
polls on May 11, following the
controversial suspension of par-
liament last November 10.
So said president Donald
Ramotar yesterday following
weeks of speculation.
Parliament was prorogued in
the face of a pending motion of
no-confidence by the opposition
Alliance for Change (AFC) which,
together with majority opposition
A Partnership for National Unity
(APNU), held a one-seat majority
in the 65-member assembly.
"I had hoped that the period
of prorogation would have
allowed for extant tensions to
ease and for all of the parliamen-
tary parties to constructively
engage the government.
"Unfortunately, the opportu-
nities that prorogation provided
for continued dialogue and
engagements with the parliamen-
tary opposition parties have not
materialised," Ramotar added.
Attention is now expected to
turn to the likelihood of a pre-
election alliance involving the
two major opposition parties.
The opposition parties had also
pressed for long overdue local
government elections last held
in August 1994.
Superior take a
lane filled with
the T&T film
Series at Globe
DOWN MEMORY LANE
New narco threats
Minister of the Environment and
Water Resources and Leader of
Government Business in the Senate
Ganga Singh says T&T s geograph-
ical proximity between the illegal
drug-producing countries and the
consumers means It is on the
threshold of new threats as it
relates to narco-trafficking.
He said so during his contribution
to the debate of The Precursor
Chemicals (No 2) Bill 2014 in the
Singh also mentioned a recent
case involving a former student of
the University of the West Indies
St Augustine Campus, who was
nabbed for allegedly cultivating mar-
ijuana in his apartment.
"Certainly we would not want to
see a blossoming in the market of
ecstacy, methamphetamines and so
on in T&T.
"We see what is happening at the
university and its proximity to high-
grade marijuana. Some of our best
minds would be required to be
utilised to create that kind of high-
grade drug," Singh said.
Matthew Soo-Chan was granted
$150,000 bail on Tuesday after
appearing in the Tunapuna Magis-
trates Court charged with possession
of marijuana for the purpose of traf-
ficking and cultivation of marijuana.
Last Thursday officers of St
Joseph Police Station raided a
Bedassie Street apartment and found
the 94 marijuana plants in pots.
Singh described The Precursor
Chemicals (No 2) Bill 2014 as critical,
adding that it was a key tool in
clamping down the illegal drug trade.
In her contribution, Opposition
Senator Shamfa Cudjoe questioned
Government s effectiveness in crime
fighting, especially with the alarming
"Today is the 20th day of the year
and we have recorded 22 murders
and of those 22, 18 were gun-relat-
"If that does not make you
uncomfortable I don t know what
does," Cudjoe said.
She also urged that T&T s borders
be protected at all times, especially
given its close proximity to drug-
"The implications of being a tran-
shipment point are very serious and
creates very dire problems on the
ground," Cudjoe said.
She said a proper functioning
radar was just one of the measures
which needed to be taken into con-
"We were given all sorts of pro-
grammes to replace the OPVs but
these programmes did not bear any
good fruit," Cudjoe said.
Also focusing on the Police Serv-
ice, she said, there were concerns
that the organisation was being con-
trolled by the Government and also
questioned why rogue police officers
were transferred as opposed to being
booted out of the service.
Principal of the University of the
West Indies (UWI) St Augustine
Campus, Professor Clement
Sankat, says he is not sure when
students grades would be released
but he hopes the university and the
lecturers would end their impasse
He was speaking yesterday with
the media after the official naming
ceremony of the Noor Hassanali
auditorium on the campus in honour
of the former president.
When asked if the students would
receive their grades in three weeks
as reported, Sankat said: "I do not
have any clue (when the grades
would be released) but I hope not.
As I said right now the university
administration is meeting with
WIGUT (West Indies Group of Uni-
"I am hopeful that a resolution is
close. It would take good sense from
all, understanding the circumstances
and doing the right thing and we
will have it sorted out. Once it is
sorted out my colleagues will have
it sorted out.
"We still have one or two regis-
tration issues. Those will be there
for a while. I was told yesterday
(Monday) went pretty well. Students
were in the classes which was most
important to me. That is what stu-
dents should really be about," he
Sankat sympathised with the stu-
dents and their frustration with not
having their grades. However, he
emphasised that students should
attend their classes and visit their
faculties so that they would be
updated on their grades situation.
"The first day of classes they need
to be in their faculties. They need
to be in their departments to know
what is going on... some of the reg-
istration issues and how to deal with
them. They need to get into their
classes. Time flies in here and in
November you know what it is in
here, exams," he said.
Regarding the Government Assis-
tance for Tuition Expenses (GATE)
applications students need, Sankat
said GATE was an external issue
from UWI and once the problems
with the grades were settled, then
the university would handle the
"We have to settle into here first.
Once we have it sorted out, our first
thing is to get our students into the
classrooms, get them registered,
hopefully get their grades published
quickly, get our staff paid and then
we get back to normalcy and have
those issues tackled," he said.
Sankat reassured that once the
grades issue was resolved then the
university would make the necessary
provisions for students who may
have registration issues.
Sankat said if necessary UWI
would extend the registration period
for students who had registration
problems at no cost to them.
No end in sight for UWI impasse
Sankat optimistic for early closure but...
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