Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 16th 2018 Contents A12 news
Friday, February 16, 2018
An amateur radio oper-
ator from west Trinidad
has been fined $50,000
for operating without
a licence from the Tel-
thority of T&T (TATT).
Desi-Lee Bonterre, 43,
of Point Cumana, Care-
nage, received the sen-
tence after the case was heard
by Appellate Judges Alice Yorke-
Soo Hon and Mark Mohammed
at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-
If Bonterre does not pay the
fine within 90 days he will face
five years in prison.
The sentencing came almost
two months after the judges
reversed a decision of a magis-
trate to acquit Bonterre based
on the failure of TATT to prove
that equipment seized at his
property was capable of trans-
mitting radio communications.
Their decision was a land-
mark ruling for TATT as the
case was the first of its kind
to be prosecuted by it.
Bonterre’s lawyer Shastri
Roberts had suggested that
his client should be repri-
manded and discharged
as the evidence did not
suggest that he had used
the equipment for finan-
cial gain and based on the
fact that he was eventu-
ally granted a licence by
TATT in 2014.
However, the judges
stated a fine was
necessary to have a
deterrent effect on po-
tential offenders as suggested
by TATT’s special prosecutor
Bonterre, an employee of in-
ternational courier FedEx, was
charged by TATT in 2007 after
investigators raided his
property based on com-
plaints from police over
interference of their sig-
nals in the area.
While there was no ev-
idence that Bonterre was
responsible for the inter-
ference, he was found to
be in possession of radio
equipment without pos-
sessing a requisite licence.
Bonterre is the vice
president of a local team
of REACT—an interna-
tional organisation for
amateur radio oper-
ators, who provide
services in emer-
gency and disaster
He claimed that
the equipment that
was found at his
home was used for
RADHICA DE SILVA
Having worked for a fortnight without being paid,
about 40 workers from the Community-based
Environment Protection and Enhancement Pro-
gramme (CEPEP) went to a contractor’s office in
Marabella on Wednesday demanding that they
receive outstanding monies.
The workers said they were owed almost
$40,000 in outstanding salaries, adding that they
were finding it difficult to pay their bills and buy food.
Glenford Holder, a foreman, said he had been working
with CEPEP contractor Junior Calliste, general manager of
Aremeric Company Limited for the past six years.
He said, “We were always paid on time, but last Friday
when we were expecting our monies we got nothing. “
Sandra Pompey said she had an ailing 11-year-old daughter
and she needed money to buy medication. “I supposed to
get paid $2,700 since Friday and I am still waiting. I cannot
meet my bills. It real hard for me because I am a single par-
ent,” Pompey added. She said if they were not paid, they
planned to stage protest action outside the offices of CEPEP.
Another worker Joseph Braithwaite also said he had his
electricity and water bills to pay.
“I am so fed up. We should not be the victim in political
games,” Braithwaite said.
Calliste, whose CEPEP contract is expected to expire in
August this year, said he sent in the workers’ time sheets and
hoped that they would be paid soon. Calliste said he was
informed by CEPEP that his payments to National Insurance
and Health Surcharge were not up to date.
Denying that this was the case, Calliste said he
had documentation to prove otherwise.
Saying he hd filed legal action against CEPEP,
Calliste called on the line minister Local Govern-
ment Minister Kazim Hosein to intervene.
Hosein was not available for comment but his
spokesman said if it is a legal matter it would be
handled by CEPEP.
The spokesman said investigations would be done
to ensure that the matter was resolved in the best inter-
est of all parties involved.
Chairman of CEPEP Clyde Paul could not be reached for
comment on the matter.
CEPEP foreman Lenford Holder, centre, speaks to
Aremeric Company Limited general manager Junior
Calliste about unpaid wages at the company’s office at
Marabella on Wednesday.
PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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