Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 12th 2018 Contents news A11
Monday, March 12, 2018
jailed for selling
guns in T&T
Two Venezuelan nationals were yesterday jailed after
they admitted to selling guns in T&T to get money to buy
food for their family in the economy crippled country.
One of them Jose Afzal Herbes, who admitted to entering
the country illegally with two guns and 285 rounds of ammu-
nition, was sentenced to 72 months in jail.
With the assistance of interpreteur Moonilal Ragbir, he
pleaded guilty in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court.
With a pregnant wife and a handicap mother to care for,
Herbes, a baker, said he was desperate because he lost his
job when the bakery closed down.
He said guns and ammunition were easier to get than
food items in Venezuela. Told that he could get a lot
of money for the guns and ammunition in Trinidad,
he decided to bring the items here.
“I did it to get help for my family. I know it could
cause damage to a lot of people here,” said an apol-
However, Magistrate Alicia Chankar said he was
opening the flood gates for trade in illegal arms and
ammunition which will bring more crime.
The magistrate said this is an example where the
guns in T&T were coming from. She sentenced him
to 36 months on each charge to run consecutively.
Herbes was also sentenced to 12 months in jail to run
concurrently with the other sentences for entering
the country illegally.
Court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said Herbes was
among nine Venezuelans arrested by PC Harripersad
and other officers of the Penal Police Station on Febru-
ary 22 at a house at James Crescent, La Romaine.
They were all staying at that house. The guns and am-
munition was found in a jersey under a mattress in the living
room of the house.
All nine of them were charged with possession of arms and
ammunition. One of them, Luis Pineda, 30, had a gun and three
rounds of ammunition in a knapsack on his back.
Pineda pleaded guilty to those charges. He told the magis-
trate he was seeking asylum here. But, he admitted he was
going to sell the gun and ammunition to get money to send
it back to his family in Venezuela.
The magistrate sentenced him to 24 months in jail
for the gun and 12 months for the ammunition. The
sentences are to run concurrently.
Four other accused Sixto Marcano Sanchez, Are-
nas Rodriguez, Medrano Matheus and Aquilino
Rodriguez were sentenced to 12 months each for
entering the country illegally.
They were charged by PC Ramesh Chait-
ramsingh from the Immigration Department.
Sixto Sanchez said he took the chance
because things were hard in his country.
Sanchez said he works for $51,000 Bolivar
equivalent to TT $1 and $2 dollars, while Are-
nas Rodriguez said a passport cost $10 million
Bolivar. The eight of them who pleaded not guilty
to having the two guns and 285 round of ammuni-
tion were denied bail.
However, the magistrate questioned why the police
were not investigating the owners of the places where
illegal foreigners are hiding out. The Venezuelans are ex-
pected to reappear in court on April 6.
Justice Adrian Saunders has been named as
the next president of the Caribbean Court
of Justice (CCJ).
Saunders, a national of St Vincent and
the Grenadines, is expected to replace Sir
Denis Byron when he steps down later this
Byron, a national of St Kitts and Nevis, was
appointed as the CCJ’s second president on
September 1, 2011.
The tenure of CCJ president is for a non-renew-
able term of seven years.
Byron replaced the CCJ’s first president Trinidad
and Tobago national Michael de la Bastide.
The announcement of Saunders as the next CCJ
President was made on the CCJ’s official Twitter ac-
count on Friday.
“The CCJ president, Sir Dennis Byron, has an-
nounced that the next president of the Court will (be)
Mr Justice Saunders, who is already a judge at the CCJ,”
the tweet said.
Byron’s announcement was made at the CCJ’s 2018 law
Saunders, a former acting Chief Justice of the
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, was sworn
in as a CCJ judge on April 16, 2005.
Saunders holds a Bachelor of Laws de-
gree from the University of the West Indies
(Cave Hill) in 1975 and the Legal Educa-
tion Certificate of the Hugh Wooding
Law School in Trinidad and Tobago in
1977, the CCJ’s website stated.
He was called to the Bar of St Vin-
cent & the Grenadines in that same
Mr Justice Saunders remained in
private practice as a barrister and so-
licitor from 1977 until 1996 at which time he
was the senior partner in the firm of Saunders
In 1996 he was appointed as a Judge of the East-
ern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) and in 2003,
he was confirmed as a Justice of Appeal of the ECSC.
One year later he was appointed to act as Chief
Justice of that Court.
Justice Adrian Saunders
TODD’S ROAD COMMUNITY
AMCHAM BOSS WANTS
THEN TO NOW...
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