Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2013 Contents KALIFA CLYNE
The Environmental Management Author-
ity (EMA) is investigating reports of hun-
dreds of fish found dead and floating in a
section of the La Pastora River in Santa
CEO of the EMA Joth Singh said the
authority was alerted to the situation when
fish were found floating in the river, and
immediately dispatched officers to investi-
The authority also reported it to the Insti-
tute of Marine Affairs (IMA) but up to late
yesterday there was no answer as to what
had happened to the fish.
The alert came from the NGO Papa Bois
Conservation and one of its directors, Marc
In a brief telephone interview yesterday,
de Verteuil said residents told him yesterday
morning that "thousands" of fish were dead
in the river.
"I went to check it out and I spoke to some
eyewitnesses, but by the time I got there,
there was about 100 fish dead in the river,
in a very small area.
"It looked like a pretty significant event."
La Pastora resident Alex Franco described
yesterday s ordeal as a "freak incident."
"Nothing like this has happened here
Franco, who lives near the river, sets traps
to catch fish for food. He said he had set
fish traps on Thursday afternoon and caught
three fish but when he checked his traps the
following morning they were full of dead
fish and hundreds more were floating down
Franco said as late as 6 pm yesterday EMA
staff were still doing tests on the water outside
of his home.
Residents of La Pastora use the river for
fishing and for irrigation for agricultural land.
In recent months there has been a fish kill
in Brasso and an incident in which hundreds
of dead and dying corbeaux were found in
Chaguaramas. No explanation has yet been
found for either.
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Canadian assistance has been
obtained towards operationalisation
of T&T s new Forensic Science Cen-
tre and for local defence, security
and related infrastructure using
Canadian products and services,
says Foreign Affairs Minister Win-
Dookeran, in a statement to Par-
liament yesterday, outlined benefits
from the Prime Minister s recent trip
to the US and Canada.
On the PM s meeting with US
deputy secretary of state William
Burns, he said discussions concerned
the US Foreign Account Tax Com-
pliance act designed to combat tax
evasion by US citizens holding over-
Dookeran said it required foreign
banks and financial entities to disclose
the balances, receipts and withdrawals
of American account holders to the
US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or
be subject to a 30 per cent withhold-
ing tax on income from US financial
assets held by the banks or financial
entities along with other requirements
"which are a cause for concern" he
"This is a topic (Finance Minister
Larry) Howai and the Bankers Asso-
ciation will meet to discuss next
week," Dookeran added.
On the Canadian visit, Dookeran
said heads of both states expressed
satisfaction with the launch of nego-
tiations between T&T s Air Guard
and provincial Aerospace Ltd of
Canada with respect to two long range
multi-mission aircraft which "would
allow the Air Guard to be more effec-
tive in the fulfillment of its security,
surveillance and search-rescue man-
Dookeran stressed: "As of now,
there s neither a formal contract nor
any other agreement for purchase
between the parties."
He said memoranda of agreement
were signed on Canadian military
training and co-operation providing
training in peace support, commu-
nications and leadership.
Another focuses on defence and
security providing the National Secu-
rity Ministry with products and serv-
ices of Canadian security and defence
companies and "augurs well for crime
fighting efforts both within and out-
side T&T s borders," he said.
A third MOU between UWI and
Brock University promotes research
and exchange between the two insti-
The fourth, between the National
Training Agency and the Career Foun-
dation of Toronto will improve exist-
ing employment centres.
He said assurances were received
Canada would assist with the new
Forensic Science Centre. There would
be engagement between the Eastern
Ontario Regional Forensic Pathology
Unit and the Forensic Pathology Cen-
tre of T&T s forensic centre for a
quality assurance review.
Canada s Correctional Service also
agreed to develop a proposal for pro-
vision of training and technical
expertise for T&T s prison service in
He said new negotiations would
start with Canada on three other
MOUs including defence as well as
an overarching framework for col-
laborating with Canada on such pri-
orities as border security, law enforce-
ment and anti-money laundering.
Another MOU concerns health pro-
motion,mental health and maternal
and child health.
T&T would work to give impetus
to stalled Caricom-Canada trade talks.
A 35-year-old former lifeguard
was arrested by police following
the seizure of two illegal firearms
and a large cache of ammunition
in Maracas on Thursday after-
Reports said around 3 pm offi-
cers of the North Eastern Division
Task Force (NEDTF) led by Insp
Roger Alexander went to the sus-
pect s house.
They found a Taurus .380 pistol
and Glock 9 mm pistol as well as
300 rounds of assorted ammuni-
tion. They also recovered 9.5 kilos
of compressed marijuana with a
street value of more than
The owner of the house, who
was last employed as a lifeguard
at beaches along the North Coast,
was arrested and later charged with
several counts of arms and ammu-
nition possession. He was also
charged with marijuana trafficking.
The charges were laid by Sgt Victor
of the Maracas Police Station.
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old
schoolboy was arrested on gun
related charges also. The teen was
arrested after the same team of
police officers raided his home on
Salamat Street, El Socorro,on
During that search the officers
found a .38 revolver with 16 rounds
Investigators said the teen is the
son of a well known gang-leader
Police said the teen has a crim-
Both men are expected to appear
before a Port-of-Spain magistrate
Sgt Cornelius Samuel, Cpl Sunil
Bharath, PCs Jerome Gordon and
Clint Dass were also involved in
Dead fish floating
in La Pastora river
Canada pitches in on
T&T's forensic science
Police raid Maracas house,
come up with guns, ammo
A La Pastora resident shows one of the dead fish found in
the La Pastora River, near La Pastora Road, yesterday.
PHOTO: COURTESY PAPA BOIS CONSERVATION
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