Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2017 Contents news A5
Thursday, March 9, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Coastal security doing
little to stop gun influx
Despite the increase in policing efforts to stymie
the influx ofguns and drugs coming into the country
from the southern coastal areas, drug runners still
prefer and use those areas to do their illegal trans-
Speaking at the weekly press briefing yesterday, Snr Supt
Lloyd Mc Alpin said the Organised Crime Narcotics and
Firearms Bureau, as well as the Coast Guard, had data
confirming that the bulk of guns and drugs coming into
the country passed through the southern and south-west-
ern coastal areas. And despite the increased activity of law
enforcement officers, the areas remain the top spot for
Mc Alpin said most of the guns and drugs were smuggled
on pirogues, with the exception of "two or three yachts"
that brought in the illegal items from Venezuela.
He added that his statistics revealed that 77 per cent of
all guns, which accompanied the drugs, came from the
South and Central American countries. The guns remain
and the drugs are trafficked to North America, Europe and
Africa, he said. Some smugglers have also re-routed their
drugs through other Caribbean countries like Barbados
and Puerto Rico, Mc Alpin said.
Mc Alpin added that for the past four years, the number
of guns seized had steadily increased. In 2013, 465 guns
were recovered, while there were 585 the following year
and 691 in 2015. Last year 765 guns were seized and for
this year so far, 150 guns have been seized.
Not surprisingly, the quantity of drugs seized has also
increased, with the occasional fluctuation in the amount
between 2013 to date, he noted. Mc Alpin said 40 per cent
of guns seized were estimated to have been circulating for
at least two years before they were removed from the hands
For the first two months of the year, nine kilograms of
cocaine and 76.24 kilograms of marijuana have been seized.
For the same period last year, 68.96 kilograms of cocaine
and 225.56 kilograms of marijuana were seized. --- J LV
T&T-born former pro-
fessional footballer Dwight
Yorke encountered problems
entering the United States
recently because he used a
United Kingdom passport,
Finance Minister Colm Im-
As such, Yorke's case had
nothing to do with his T&T
"There are no adverse con-
sequences for T&T citizens as
far as I'm aware with respect to
travel to the US," Imbert told the
Senate on Tuesday night.
He was responding during
the FATCA debate to concerns
raised by Independent Senator
Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir, who
said Government should seek
assurances on T&T travel to the
US, or reciprocity of some kind
in return for FATCA compliance.
Commenting on Yorke's re-
cent travel problems in the US---
he was denied entry because of
an Iranian stamp in his passport
as he tried to return to T&T via
Miami from Qatar---Mahabir
said he was concerned that
T&T nationals who travelled
to places on the US' temporary
visa travel ban list might not be
able to enter the US.
He also wondered whether
nationals who interacted with
colleagues in those parts of the
world, or bought items from
there, might face problems with
the US, travel or otherwise.
But Imbert said Yorke's prob-
lem had nothing to do with his
"Yorke is a dual citizen of
T&T and the UK and has two
"The UK was part of a
38-country group which en-
joyed a visa waiver programme
with the US.
"If you were a citizen of a
country in that group, you could
have entered the US without a
visa once you go through the
paper work needed to get a visa
waiver," Imbert explained.
"Yorke sought to enter the US
with his UK passport, not as a
T&T citizen, and unfortunately
for him, under the Obama ad-
ministration in 2009 a US law
was passed indicating that if
you travelled to certain coun-
tries and certain ones in the
Middle East, your visa waiver
would no longer apply and you
would have to apply for a visa
like people who aren't part of
the visa waiver programme."
He added: "Yorke no longer
had a visa waiver when he tried
to enter the US with a UK pass-
port. In fact, they stopped him
on the plane in the Doha because
the authorities there were aware
the visa waiver law had changed
and he was trying to enter the
US as a UK citizen."
Imbert said the Trump ad-
ministration had been incor-
rectly blamed for the travel
"Yorke's visa waiver was can-
celled because of the Obama
law. In terms of what will hap-
pen to T&T citizens, we have to
apply for visas the normal way.
We're not automatically allowed
US entry. When we apply for US
visas, you comply with whatever
requirement the US imposes on
visa applicants. I'm not aware
of any onerous or special con-
ditions on T&T citizens at this
In warning against fake news,
Imbert said he had noted a re-
cent alleged CNN report that
nationals were being denied
US visas. He said it was done
by a person whose initials were
C.N.N. who used CNN's logo.
"It was fake news ... fake news
has become lucrative. Some
even have fake news websites
with revenue earning ads. This
is the madness we see in the in-
Imbert: Yorke travelled as UK citizen
Venezuelan woman shot
JENSEN LA VENDE
A 23-year-old Venezuelan woman
was shot in the chest on Tuesday night
while returning from a beach lime with
Police said the victim, identified only as
, was in a vehicle with some of her
friends, including Venezuelans and locals,
at the time of the incident.
They were reportedly driving along North
Coast Road, just past the lookout at Maracas,
around 9.30 pm when another vehicle forced
them to stop.
A man then approached the woman and
shot her in the chest.
The driver of the car the woman was in
sped off and took her to the Port-of-Spain
General Hospital, where she remains ward-
ed in the Intensive Care Unit in a critical
Police said they are seeking to interview
the woman's compatriots with the assistance
of an interpreter to ascertain the identity of
the shooter as well as a motive, as the the
driver, a local resident, claimed he had no
idea who the man was and why he would
want to harm the woman.
Cpl Pennie of the Maraval Police Station
is continuing investigations.
A group of women police look on as their colleague checks the credentials of a man who was allegedly operating a PH taxi at the
corner of Mucurapo and Lord Streets, San Fernando, yesterday. There was a large show of female officers on duty in the southern city
in commemoration of International Women's Day. PHOTO COURTESY ANN DOOKIE
Several areas in Tobago were without elec-
tricity supply up to last night, after a machine
at the Cove Power Station tripped.
Parts of the island lost power around 2 pm and T&TEC
officials were initially hoping to get power back up ap-
proximately 30 to 45 minutes later. But up to 8 pm some
areas were still without power.
In a press release, T&TEC corporate communications
manager, Annabelle Brasnell, said areas serviced by the
Courland, Scarborough and Studley Park sub-stations
The T&T Guardian received reports that Scarborough,
Mt St George, Mason Hall, Moriah, Bagatelle, Hope, Ba-
colet, Roxborough, Delaford and Charlotteville were still
affected by the outage.
In an update last night Brasnell said, "a machine at
Cove tripped back out so the initial restoration in some
areas was brief. Two machines are now back online and,
in addition to parts of Scarborough, Signal Hill and Mt
Irvine that were back earlier, all others are back on ex-
cept for the following areas and environs: Arnos Vale,
Charlotteville, Northside, Bacolet and Studley Park."
The south-western parts of the island were unaffected.
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