Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 8th 2016 Contents YVONNE WEBB
Chutney soca artiste Samraj "Rikki Jai"
Jaimungal had to beg for his life after a
gunman who shot at him and missed kept
the loaded gun pointed at his waist for
approximately three of the most terrifying
minutes of his life, as he demanded money
and other valuables in exchange for Jaimun-
gal s life on Wednesday.
"He threatened to shoot me but I begged
for my life. I told him he did not have to
shoot, I will hand over the money and he
showed me some mercy and only robbed
me. I have to thank God for that," Jaimungal
said in a telephone interview with the T&T
He said he did not know if the unmasked
gunman recognised him and for that reason
did not shoot him.
"I don't know if he knew who I was but
he showed mercy on me and I have to be
grateful for that," he said.
This is not the first time Jaimungal has
been a target of criminals. He described a
similar attack in Marabella, south Trinidad,
"I was mugged in Marabella. I was hos-
pitalised. I still have three inches of scars in
my back as a reminder but the good Lord
is not ready for me yet. He know I have three
kids to take care of," he said.
The crossover artiste, who is a semifinalist
in both the International Soca Monarch and
Chutney/Soca competitions with his 2016
hit "Leh We Fete", explained that shortly
after midnight yesterday, he and his band
had just finished rehearsals at the Speedway
Building, San Juan, when they noticed the
driver of a Nissan B14 driving up and down
"A couple of the guys drove off and me
and the drummer were still standing there.
We observed the two guys making their way
towards us and I told the drummer, This
not looking too good leh we ride out of here.'
I see the guy (driver) start to pick up pace
and I run to my vehicle and my guy ran
Jaimungal said by the time he got to his
vehicle, one of the occupants of the car,
armed with a gun, jumped out and fired a
shot at him. He said he don't know where
that shot went, "because I went back with
the police today (Thursday) and no shells
were found, neither was my car damaged.
I don't know if he shot it in the air."
A frightened Jaimungal, who was already
seated in his vehicle, said in his haste to drive
off he fumbled with the gear stick.
"At this time he (the gunman) was right
up on me. Pointing the gun towards me, he
said Open the door or I will shoot you.'"
Jaimungal complied and the gunman stuck
the gun in his waist and continued to threaten
"He then demanded my wallet. I don't
walk with a wallet. I just had some cash and
my driver's permit. I begged for my life
because he kept saying he would shoot me
but I told him you don't have to shoot, I will
give you the money and whatever you want.
"The gun was on my waist all the time.
I gave him the cash and he took my cellphone
and he ran off," he recalled.
The bandit escaped in the waiting car.
Jaimungal said after he was able to regain
his composure he actually chased after the
bandits' car, but lost them near the Carib
brewery. He said crime had been a problem
for too long in T&T and even though the
police keep producing statistics to say it was
going down, "it is still happening.
"I don't have the solution for crime. I wish
I did. That is the job of the police, those in
authority. When it happens to you, you know
how it feels. I just hope the police catch the
culprits," he added.
However, he said the incident would not
deter him and his band from their rehearsals.
"It is Carnival time, we have lots of jobs.
We have to practise. The owners of the build-
ing will organise security and the band mem-
bers will just have to look at the time we are
leaving and how we are leaving, so we are
not vulnerable," he said.
San Juan police are continuing investiga-
Friday, January 8, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Cabinet yesterday agreed to the appointment
of Col George Robinson as the new director
of the Strategic Services Agency (SSA).
Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie made
the announcement during yesterday's post-
Cabinet news briefing at the Office of the Prime
Minister, St Clair.
He said the SSA, one of the country's major
intelligence agencies, would have an expanded
mandate under Robinson, which will include
"broader law enforcement co-ordination and
He insisted the organisation was being restruc-
tured to include "intelligence-gathering and the
National Security Training Academy."
Cuffie said the SSA would be restructured
"by integrating the functions of the National
Operations Centre (NOC) and the National
Security Training Academy."
In response to questions, Cuffie said Robin-
son's appointment was made after a recom-
mendation from Minister of National Security
Brigadier Edmund Dillon and the National Secu-
rity Council, which is chaired by Prime Minister
Dr Keith Rowley. Saying Robinson had an
impressive track record, he said the Cabinet
was very thorough in making such appointments
to ensure no unqualified person was appointed
to do the job.
Robinson was the head of the Office of Dis-
aster Preparednesss and Management (ODPM)
under the PNM government. However, he quit
office in August of 2010 after the ODPM was
heavily criticised for how it handled flooding
which had ravaged several parts of the coun-
try.However, Robinson returned to his substantive
post at Petrotrin, since he had been at the ODPM
on secondment since 2008.
Cuffie also said there was no discussion on
allegations against Housing Minister Marlene
Mc Donald and Udecott chairman Anthony
Garcia. Allegations of wrongdoing against the
two were made by Opposition Senator Wayne
Sturge in recent days. Both Mc Donald and Gar-
cia have dismissed the respective allegations.
Cuffie said over the next five years he expected
the Opposition to make allegations against the
People's National Movement Government.
"We cannot run the Government by simply
spending time discussing allegations from the
Opposition and we cannot be guided by Oppo-
sition allegations," he said.
Cabinet also agreed to the appointment of
a task force to support the implementation of
the National Statistical Institute of T&T, which
would eventually replace the Central Statistical
Office, he said.
Cuffie added the task force would be chaired
by Dr John Prince. Other members are perma-
nent secretary in the Planning and Development
Ministry Joanne Deoraj; the acting director of
Statistics Sean O'Brien and senior legal counsel
in the Ministry of Planning and Development
He said there would be a lot of consultations
before the new and independent statistical office
was established. The new institute, Cuffie said,
"will be independent, not totally dependent on
a Government ministry."
He said legislation was also required to estab-
lish the institute. He could not give a timeframe
for the establishment of the body but another
source said it was hoped the institute would be
established by the end of the year.
CAMILLE CLARKE and
Investigations into the cause of the blaze
at the Water and Sewerage Authority
(WASA) St Joseph headquarters have stalled
because of a re-ignition of the fire on
Fire Services sources said yesterday fire
officers were unable to enter the main build-
ing at the administrative complex on
Wednesday to conduct investigations.
As a result, the cause of the fire remains
unknown. Sources, however, dismissed claims
that a device set to go off at a particular
time was discovered at the scene of the fire.
The Fire Services source also quashed
rumours that important files kept in the reg-
istry area of the second floor where the fire
started were destroyed. He said the fire took
place in a "large area" but not in the records
section as reported.
Despite speculation that the fire may be
linked to an upcoming audit of the authority,
the source said its origin remained unknown
up to this point.
The fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon
and was contained by fire officers shortly
after 7 pm. However, officers were called
back to WASA after the fire re-ignited. The
source said a certain amount of heat in the
area restarted the blaze.
"The area is not safe and investigators are
yet to determine the cause of the fire because
they are trying to assess from the outside if
the building is safe. We have to ensure that
the area is safe for the investigators," one
officer told the T&T Guardian.
WASA's communications manager Daniel
Plenty yesterday confirmed the source of
the fire was yet to be determined. As for an
update on investigations, he said that was
the Fire Services' responsibility.
Plenty also withheld comment on claims
the fire was maliciously set.
Probe thwarted as WASA fire re-ignites
set to head SSA
Cuffie: Cabinet thorough
in making pick
Gunman shoots at, robs Rikki Jai...
I begged for my life
Docs involved in C-section death suspended
The Tobago Regional Health Authority
Board (TRHA) has suspended the doctors
who were involved in the surgery to Rose
Gordon, 35, of Charlotteville, who died on
New Year s Day after delivering her baby
girl via C-section at the Scarborough Gen-
eral Hospital on December 31, 2015.
In a press release yesterday, the TRHA
said: "The board of directors of the Tobago
Regional Health Authority has suspended
the services of the physicians involved in the
death of Rose Gordon at the Scarborough
General Hospital on January 1, 2016.
"The board has also launched an inves-
tigation, following the examination of all rel-
evant reports and circumstances surrounding
the death of the late mother."
In an immediate reaction to the news,
Leslyn Gordon, sister of Rose, said she still
lacked confidence in the Scarborough General
"Right now I am praying that nothing ain't
happen to me, plus I have another sister who
is scheduled to make her baby any time from
now and I'm afraid for her too," she added.
She said although the doctors were sus-
pended they were still seeking relevant
"Whether they fired or suspend them, I
still want to know what happened, because
her teenage daughter is asking questions also
and I cannot answer the questions," Leslyn
saidQuestioned on a newspaper report which
described Gordon's surgery as being
"botched," she said she was unaware of where
the information was being generated.
"The autopsy report never said anything
like that. I don't know what or where the
information is coming from. This one calling,
that one calling but I am trying to explain
to everyone that's new to me. My head hot
with everything and that is the reason why
I am not saying anything much, everything
is coming down on me," she added.
The autopsy was conducted by pathologist
Dr Hubert Daisley on Monday. The report
stated that Gordon died as a result of col-
lapsed lungs, pre-eclampsia and hypovelemic
shock. Her lungs and uterus were sent for
additional testing and results are expected
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