Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 15th 2015 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Taking police to task over a series
of inaction, vice-president of the Penal
Debe Chamber of Commerce Ram-
persad Seeraj called on acting Police
Commissioner Stephen Williams to
account for questionable practices by
In a series of questions posed to
Williams and other senior officers at a
police town meeting at the Penal Sec-
ondary School on Monday night, Ram-
persad asked how citizens were expected
to take police seriously when marijuana
was found on a ledge at someone s
house and no one was arrested.
Saying that there was a lack of equity
in justice, he said if marijuana was
found at his house, every member of
his family would have been arrested.
Pained by police s inaction, he said he
also reported to a senior police officer
that a 12-year-old girl was being abused
and because nothing was done, that
child was now a mother.
He added: "I personally went to the
senior police officer in the Penal Police
Station and reported a matter where a
12-year-old child was being harassed.
Up to today nothing has been done and
that 12-year-old child is today the
mother of children and you are asking
me now as an individual to report crime.
What are we really doing?
"You find marijuana on the ledge of
a big person s house and what happens?
Nothing. You find marijuana by me and
it is me and my whole family going
down, even my dog going down too.
"But you find marijuana on a big
ledge and nothing happens and the
next thing is that a senior police officer
involved finds himself as a national
security officer overseeing the National
He also asked how come there was
a Total Policing Day on March 23 and
Williams was not aware. Williams, how-
ever, was quick to point out that he
was not in the country at that time and
reminded attendees that the Police
Complaints Authority was investigating
the event which caused a massive traffic
shutdown in North Trinidad.
Williams said he had great concern
with the day dubbed as Total Policing
Day, but said events on March 23 had
nothing to do with the Police Service
Total Policing initiative.
He explained that the initiative was
a plan in which all resources, including
off-duty officers, Special Reserve Police
and equipment, be brought together to
tackle an issue.
"The activities on that day had noth-
ing to do with total policing and it is
being investigated by the legal authority,"
On the issue of the 12-year-old
mother, he instructed Supt Jimmy Pal-
loo to investigate the matter, saying
that if there was inaction by the police,
disciplinary action could be taken. Also
responding to Seeraj s concern that
police had tipped off criminals on a
planned raid in Enterprise, Williams
said they had been able to recover seven
or eight pistols in the crime-riddled
Economist David Abdulah is call-
ing on Government to take stock of
what is happening in the world
economy and put T&T s house in
order or he predicted, "after the elec-
tion we will have to suck salt."
Abdulah, who is also the political
leader of the Movement for Social
Justice (MSJ), said the world economy
was unstable, refering to last week s
slump in China s stock market, the
suspension of trading on the NYSE
for almost four hours and the ongoing
crisis in Greece where the prime min-
ister of that country has agreed to a
bailout with harsh conditions, in spite
of a referendum against such condi-
He added: "In the context of an
unstable world economy, T&T is
bound to be affected because from
the time the first slave came to T&T,
from the time sugar started to be
produced in the Caribbean, we have
been part of the global economy and
what ever happens outside is bound
to affect us in T&T."
He pointed to the shortage of for-
eign exchange, namely US dollars,
the decline in oil and gas prices and
the "selling of the family jewels" to
balance the budget.
"We are in deep crisis because the
economy of this country is in trouble.
We are now in the middle of July,
many families want to go on holiday
and cannot get $US because there is
a crisis of foreign exchange in the
country," he noted.
Long before the price of oil and
gas fell, more than 18 months ago,
he said, business people were com-
plaining to the Government about
getting foreign exchange to pay for
imported goods and services.
He blamed Central Bank governor
Jwala Rambaran s management for
the foreign exchange crisis.
Abdulah said for 20 years, since
the TT dollar was first floated, access
to foreign exchange was not a factor
of high or low oil price but how well
the system was being managed.
"So Government is in trouble and
how do they get out of trouble, they
balance the budget by selling the
family jewels. So the First Citizens
Bank (FCB) IPO last year, with all the
corruption that took place with that,
cash from that to balance the budget,
$7 billion in Clico assets sold to bal-
ance the budget and now they want
to come with the Phoenix Park IPO."
He said: "So when you have no
more of grannie s jewelry to sell what
would you do. Inevitably, after the
election we will have to start sucking
Abdulah: Unstable world economy affecting T&T
Chamber president tells acting top CoP:
Account for questionable officers
Vice-president of the Penal Chamber of Commerce Rampersad Seeraj makes his
contribution during the police town meeting at the Penal Secondary School on
Members of the Penal Police Youth Group perform an Indian dance
piece. PHOTOS: RISHI RAGOONATH
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