Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 19th 2017 Contents Sunday, February 19, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Man killed in shootout with cops
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Angry residents in east Port-of-Spain disrupt-
ed the flow of traffic in an early morning protest
yesterday over an alleged police shooting.
Dead is Mickel "Short Buck" Lancaster.
Residents placed an old, burning car in the inter-
section by the John John traffic lights and other debris
in the vicinity of that area which caused motorists
attempting to enter and exit the capital city through the
Beetham flyover, Eastern Main Road and the Priority
Bus Route to stall.
However, Deputy Commissioner of Police Wayne
Dick, who later met with the residents, praised them
for showing a certain level of tolerance, understanding
and willingness to meet with himself, National Se-
curity Minister Edmund Dillon, MP Fitzgerald Hinds
and acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams
later this week. Dillon and Hinds were on the scene.
Dick said there was no face-off or confrontation
between the residents, police and the ministers.
Asked what the meeting would entail, he said, "I
can't say what but I suspect it would be issues affecting
the area and issues of crime."
Dick said it was reported that around 5 am yester-
day officers of the Inter-Agency Task Force went on
a police operation in the Laventille area.
"My understanding is that they went into a house
in search of a man, as one of the officers entered, he
was fired upon. The officers returned fire and the man
"Police took the man to the hospital where he was
sometime later pronounced dead."
Dick said it was important to also give an account of
what residents said. He said they claimed the police
shot and killed Lancaster. He said he has invited them
to come forward and provide information.
He said he guaranteed the residents the matter would
be investigated "fairly and without bias"and that if
anyone gave evidence that would lead to a police of-
ficer being prosecuted,"that we, the executive of the
Police Service would make every effort that no harm
is meted out to such an individual."
The officer was relieved of his firearm on the scene
by his seniors.
PC, brother freed of assault
After two years of trial for assaults, a police
officer and his brother were freed on Friday.
Police Constable Jewan Ragbir and his brother
Mooniraj, a businessman of Kangalee Street, Valen-
cia, were freed on assault charges when presiding
magistrate Aden Stroute upheld the submissions and
dismissed the charges.
The Valencia brothers were charged with assault
occasioning a wound and assault of Iron Sealey.
The court was told that Sealey went to Mooniraj's
shop after he refused to sell his wife kerosene.
An altercation ensued during which Sealey was
assaulted by the Ragbirs.
PC Ragbir's car was damaged in the process. Several
witnesses were called during the trial which lasted
for two years.
The charges were laid by Sgt Ameer Mohammed of
the Valencia Police Post.
The Ragbirs were represented by attorneys Osborne
Charles and Shirvanand Dubay and the State was rep-
resented by attorney Brigitte Anthony.
--- Ralph Banwarie
Another woman gang raped
Another woman has been robbed, abducted
and gang raped following a home invasion in
San Fernando on Friday night. The 34-year-
old woman, who was left in the bushes by her
attackers in the Claxton Bay, was found by a
passing police vehicle.
The incident took place hours after three men ap-
peared in the San Fernando Magistrates Court charged
with abducting a 26-year-old cashier after she boarded
a car she believed was a taxi, taken to a lonely area
where she was robbed, raped, buggered.
The latest attack took place around 10.45 pm on
Friday. The woman and her husband went to visit her
brother-in-law at his home. Police said the brother-
in-law was sitting on the steps when four men, two
armed with a gun, accosted him and took him inside
They tied up both men and stole cellphones, a quan-
tity of cash and jewelry. The assailants took the wom-
an with them in her husband's car to an isolated area
where they took turns raping her. She flagged down a
passing police vehicle which rendered assistance and
took her for medical treatment. Her husband's vehi-
cle was found yesterday morning in the Arouca area.
'It is safe to
drink tap water'
Unless citizens are drinking di-
rectly from the Guanapo river itself,
it is unlikely that they will be con-
suming water contaminated with
lead and other metals.
These are the words of University
of the West Indies lecturer Dr Denise
Beckles, one of the authors of a report
looking at the impact of the contami-
nants produced by the Guanapo Land-
fill on the Surrounding Environment.
The final report was produced in May
2016 and was shared with both the Wa-
ter and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and
the Solid Waste Management Company
Solid waste disposal in T&T is ac-
complished via five landfills across the
country---SWMCOL manages three in
Trinidad, Beetham, Forres Park, and
The Borough of Point Fortin manag-
es the Guapo Landfill, and the Tobago
House of Assembly manages the Stud-
ley Park Landfill in Tobago.
Last week, during a Joint Select Com-
mittee meeting, officials at SWMCOL
said the situation at the landfill where
there were reports of dangerously high
levels of lead which could be affecting
the health of citizens.
In a telephone interview with the
Sunday Guardian yesterday, Beck-
les confirmed that the study did find
metals, including lead in the Guanapo
river and around the landfill.
The Guanapo landfill sits between
the Guanapo River and Petite Caigual,
which flow into the Caroni River; which
is itself a major source of drinking wa-
te r.She said what may have been unclear
to the public was that before the water
was distributed to the general public, it
went through a strict treatment process
"We were looking at the level of
chemicals in the surface water. What
WASA provides is a chemically pro-
cessed product and the metals are re-
moved during processing," Beckles said.
"Unless you are drinking water
straight out of the river, it is unlikely
that there is any lead in it. I am unafraid
to drink tap water and I did the study."
'SWMCOL, WASA took
She added that when the information
in the study was taken to SWMCOL and
WASA, both organisations took appro-
Beckles said the landfill was not the
only source of pollution to the environ-
ment in Guanapo.
"Guanapo has a long history of lead
contamination, so it's not necessari-
ly just the dump. There are also two
quarries in the area which may also be
contributing to the contamination."
As to the environmental impact in the
immediate area, Beckles said her team
did not take samples of fish, plant or
"Based on what we saw was that rivers
close by the landfill were contaminated
and that it was seasonal. If we could stop
the source material from coming there,
that would go a long way from stopping
She said this was why one of the major
recommendations from the study was
to prevent electronic waste and treating
the leachate that was coming out of the
The study did say, however, that the
consequences of exposure to heavy
metals in water could be very costly to
health of the residents and the economy
in the area.
The study said a properly designed
and operated sanitary landfill may min-
imize the impact on the environment.
It added, however, that this was not the
norm in T&T and the wider Caribbean.
The study said the use of improper
waste disposal methods can have sig-
nificant impact to human health and the
environment as the breakdown of waste
material within the landfill produces air
pollutants which are implicated in global
Govt must look into health
Yesterday, member of the Jonathan
Felix foundation, Michael Wong, who
has been engaged in raising awareness
about the health issues related to the
Guanapo landfill for over ten years, said
the Government needed to look into
the health effects.
"Cariri has said they do not have
enough resources to properly conduct
tests and this is a national issue. It is
an issue for the whole of T&T," Wong
said in an interview.
"We know WASA does not have the
appropriate mechanism to test your
water. WASA has never provided po-
table water for the people of T&T. It
is just water to wash your car, clothes
and bathe," Wong said.
Lecturer: UWI study not
related to drinking water
Guyanese national stabbed to death
A Guyanese national was found
with stab wounds about his body
and his slit throat yesterday
Dead is Joel Mentor, 29, an em-
ployee at Hakka Restaurant in Wood-
According to reports, Mentor was
last seen alive around 4 am by his
roommate at their Henderson Street,
Caroni Savannah Road, apartment.
About six hours later, around 10
am, Mentor was discovered dead in
the apartment's living room.
Mentor was found in his boxers
with a towel over his head.
Two armed soldiers walk the street during yesterday's protest by Laventille residents following an alleged
police shooting. PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
...residents to meet with minister, CoP, MP this week
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