Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 17th 2016 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 16TH AUGUST, 2016
San Fernando resident Anthony
Gaskin, who spent a night in a cell
and was fined $250 for littering
the road with a styrofoam cup,
believes he was unfairly treated by
However, PC Ramchairth, the
officer who arrested and charged
Gaskin, has caught the attention of
environmental activist Marc de Ver-
teuil, who has hailed him as hero.
Speaking with reporters yesterday
at his home at Embacadere, San
Fernando, Gaskin felt the police had
spited him by not giving station
bail for "such a minor offence.
"I suffer like a dog (in the police
station cell) on Sunday," said Gaskin
as he recalled the incident.
Gaskin, who is unemployed, was
arrested shortly after 9 am on Sun-
day at Mucurapo Street and taken
to the San Fernando Police Station,
where he remained until Monday
morning when he was taken before
a San Fernando magistrate charged
He pleaded guilty before Senior
Magistrate Nanette Forde-John and
was fined $250.
The magistrate scolded Gaskin
for his actions, saying if everyone
acted like him the country would
be a dirty place.
She ordered him to pay $70
forthwith and gave him seven days
to pay the balance of the fine or
else face jail time.
Shaking his head as he recalled
his experience yesterday, Gaskin,
who will celebrate his 54th birthday
next Tuesday, said he went to the
grocery to buy ingredients to cook
lunch, which consisted of lentil peas,
rice and liver, for his two daughters.
On his way back home, Gaskin
said he stopped and bought a drink
"When I done I just throw the
cup on the road and the police van
stop and the officers just come and
handcuff me," he said.
At the time, Gaskin said he was
not sure for what he was being
He said, however, he was told by
the police that after they took his
fingerprints he would be granted
his own bail but that never hap-
"I had to lie down on the cold
concrete (in the cell). It did not feel
good at all. They had no right to
keep me in there for so long for
that petty offence.
That offence come like gambling
and obscene language. What they
did was wrong," he added.
Gaskin said the pack of liver was
put in the refrigerator in the station
after he complained to the police
it would spoil. Although he was
offered meals at the station, Gaskin
said he declined.
While he is aware that littering
is against the law, Gaskin said he
never thought he would be arrested
for the offence.
But Gaskin, who admitted he had
previous run-ins with the law, said
he had put the incident behind him
and offered this advice to other
people: "Do not litter."
He said he was released from the
cell shortly after the case was called
after the officer who charged him
went to the station and retrieved
the $70 he had on him when he
was arrested and took it to him so
he could pay the court.
Gaskin said he has been going
through difficult financial issues
and even received an eviction notice
from the Housing Development
Corporation. He appealed to mem-
bers of the public to help him find
a job so he could keep his home
and improve his living conditions.
RADHICA SOOKRAJ-DE SILVA
"Non-performing public servants from
the Land Management Division will not
prevent me from doing my job," Agriculture
Minister Clarence Rambharat said yester-
day as he vowed to crack down on land
grabbers and delinquent farmers.
The tough talking Rambharat was
addressing hundreds of former Caroni 1975
Limited workers who were retrenched in
2003 when the sugar industry was shut-
Saying land grabbing was evident across
the country, Rambharat admitted to expe-
riencing "tremendous frustration" by the
lack of co-operation from public servants
working in the Land Management Division.
"I will not be hindered by non-performing
public servants in the conduct of my duties
as a minister. From now to September I
have made a promise that I will accelerate
the work I am doing and where there is
waste, including human resources who are
idle, that I will take the appropriate steps,"
He also said an audit was being done by
PricewaterhouseCoopers on every contract
given out by the Estate Management Busi-
ness Company (EMBD), a State enterprise
which took charge of Caroni s land assets
when the company became defunct.
"We will audit every single contract
awarded by EMBD in relation to develop-
ment of those lands. Up to 2010, the devel-
opment of a residential lot by EMBD was
costing $160,000 at maximum. By 2015, it
was costing taxpayers $760,000 to develop
a lot of land," Rambharat said.
He added: "If contractors were paid with-
out doing work, or if contractors were paid
more than they should be paid, steps will
be taken to retrieve that money."
The minister also said farmers who
received their agricultural plots were likely
to lose their lands if it was not under cul-
tivation. He said it was not satisfactory that
former workers had agricultural leases for
more than two years and had not done any
One former worker, Cecil Teelucksingh,
admitted yesterday he had not cultivated
his land because he did not know where it
"We have no access to the lands and it
is costing a lot to prepare the land. We don t
get subsidies and we cannot get loans. Caroni
had $100 million in equipment. Why didn t
Caroni provide the equipment to prepare
the land? Fertilizers and seedlings cost a lot
of money," Teelucksingh added.
Latchman Ramjohn also said he could
not plant because there was no access to
his plot. "It is dangerous, too, because we
have no lights or water on the land,"
President general of the All Trinidad Gen-
eral Workers Trade Union, Nirvan Maharaj,
could not be reached yesterday as calls to
his cellphone went unanswered.
I suffer like a dog in cell
Litterbug: Cops promised to give me station bail...
Rambharat buffs delinquent farmers, public servants
Farmer Ramkissoon Khadoo, right, thanks Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat after receiving his land lease during yesterday's VSEP lease
distribution ceremony for former Caroni 1975 Limited workers at Rienzi Complex, Couva. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Kudos from environmentalist
However, environmentalist Marc de
Verteuil, who publicly commended
Ramchairth as a hero on his Facebook
page, said in an email to this newspaper
that while he could not comment on
the police procedure, he would like to
commend Ramchairth for taking a
leadership stance in the war on litter.
"Trinidad is slowly becoming a
labasse with people thinking it is per-
fectly okay to drop their trash where
"If all police acted like Constable
Ramchairth, 99 per cent of littering
would stop. Constable Ramchairth is
my hero for the day."
De Verteuil offered the officer,
through his company WOW Expedi-
tions, a free, private tour, for him, his
wife and children "to say thank you
on behalf of a litter-weary nation."
He said Ramchairth was a fine
example to all.
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