Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 3rd 2013 Contents A5
Thursday, October 3, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Some 87 Muslims were turned away
from entering Venezuela and getting
a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia.
They had to stay overnight at the
Simón Bolívar International Airport
and take a return flight to Piarco yes-
The group members were seeking a
visa to enter Saudi Arabia so they could
travel to the land of Makkah and Mad-
ina to perform a pillar of Islam, called
T&T does not have a Saudi Arabian
Embassy hence the visit to Venezuela.
Yesterday at the Piarco International
Airport approximately 50 members of
the group and their families gathered
at the arrival terminal.
President of the Islamic Missionaires
Guild of the Caribbean and South
America, Imtiaz Mohammed, said they
members of the group stood to lose
between $20,000 and $35,000 indi-
The package included the visa,
accommodation, meals and airfare.
Mohammed said that was because
the Hajj was now seen as an oppor-
tunity to make money.
He said some groups were charging
up to $49,000 for the trip.
Mohammed said there were certain
individuals who wrote to the Embassy
authorities in Venezuela and claimed
their operator for the tour was not
"Those letters contained many mali-
cious and damaging statements towards
the leaders of the group as the one
"Their wish came through and they
have achieved their desire to make big
profit in front of letting their Muslim
brothers and sisters go on this holy and
sacred pilgrimage," he added.
Mansoor Mohammed Ali, 72, one of
the pilgrims, cried when he was greeted
by his fellow "brothers", "sisters" and
"When I reached Caracas I was
denied a visa to go and it hurts in my
heart for my brothers who didn t get
a chance," he said.
Hamzah Mohammed, whose father
arranged the Hajj, said he had to stay
in the airport overnight.
He said his father remained in
Venezuela to take care of the problem.
"We had to go in the toilet with
somebody as if we were criminals. I
hope all this could stop.
"I know my heart is aching and I was
looking forward to go. I took vacation
from work. We have to put a stop to
this," he said.
Imam Rasheed Karim who was there
to greet his two sons said the whole
problem was based on the amount of
"It is basically business and trans-
action. It is painful to see my children
"Their faces were lit like a Christmas
tree and today the light has dimmed.
I don t know as a father how I will deal
with that," he said.
Karim said he was going to take the
issue further and make sure that it did
not happen again.
"What they are saying is that the
poor people in this country who does
not have money that they should not
make Hajj," he said.
An official at the Venezuela Embassy
said he did not have any information
on why the group was turned back.
"We wouldn t know anything about
that or why they didn t get there and
I don t know under what conditions
they went," he said.
87 Muslims on
Hajj trip blocked
A candidate selected by the Inde-
pendent Liberal Party (ILP) for the
October 21 local government elections
will appear before a Chaguanas mag-
istrate this morning on seven gun-
He was charged for three offences
of shooting with intent, two for pos-
session of a gun and ammunition and
two further charges of possession of a
gun and ammunition with intent to
He remained detained at the
Chaguanas Police Station up to late
The 38-year-old man was arrested
on Tuesday evening, less than an hour
after he allegedly shot at his female
companion and her former boyfriend
at her home in central Trinidad.
According to reports, shortly after 6
pm, the candidate went to the woman s
home. After a short argument he
reportedly drew a pistol and fired three
shots, before running to his van and
driving off. The couple was not injured
and they reported the incident to
Police intercepted the vehicle at Lady
Young Road, Morvant, shortly after the
Police found a loaded .45 calibre pis-
tol with 12 rounds of ammunition hid-
den in the van.
The charges were laid by PC
Mohammed of the Chaguanas CID.
ILP candidate in court
on gun charges today
Central Bank security guards
killed two pitbull terriers on Tues-
day night after the animals
attacked them in their carpark.
Police said around 7 pm, the
guards were on patrol at the Eric
Williams Plaza, when they saw the
dogs near parked cars.
They tried to chase them out of
the car park but they charged
Police said one of the guards
tried to run away but fell over,
injuring his hand.
One of his colleagues then fired
several warning shots which star-
tled the dogs and they ran acrosss
Independence Square towards
another carpark on Edward Street.
The dogs then attacked two
attendants there, police said. The
attendants barricaded themselves
in a security booth to escape.
The guards followed the dogs
and shot them several times.
Their carcasses were removed
by employees of the Port-of-Spain
Police believe the dogs were
abandoned shortly before the inci-
dent as they appeared to be well
fed and groomed.
Investigators plan to review
CCTV camera footage from offices
and businesses near the car parks
to try to locate the owner.
ASP Ajith Persad and Insp Pow-
der of the Port-of-Spain CID are
Security guards kill abandoned pitbulls
Acting Prime Minister Dr
Roodal Moonilal says the Peo-
ple s Partnership will be stepping
up its campaign for this month s
local government election after
a recent NACTA poll showed the
PP trailing the People s National
"We take polls very seriously
because they are a snapshot of a
particular time. But you know,
whatever the polls says, we work
hard and we continue to work
hard," Moonilal said yesterday.
He was at a function to rename
a primary school in Debe the Dr
Roodal Moonilal Ramai Trace
SDMS Primary School.
Although the poll suggested
the United National Congress
(UNC) was ahead of the PNM for
the October 21 elections, the PP,
as a coalition government, fell
behind the PNM.
However, Moonilal was confi-
dent the PP could pull off a vic-
tory against the PNM and the
new Independent Liberal Party
(ILP), which has been gaining
ground since its leader Jack
Warner won the Chaguanas West
by-election in July.
He added: "The NACTA poll...
we saw the results and so on...
it means that we have to work.
We are, I think, six per cent
behind the PNM in some areas.
"It means we must work harder
and push faster, so I am confident
that our campaigners and activists
will step up to the plate.
"I will be on the campaign trail
this week with various candidates.
We will continue to work hard
and reverse the polls if they are
against us and increase our leads
if the polls are for us.
"We take the polls seriously,
of course, but we also work
extremely hard in various areas,"
On Monday, the PP will hold
a meeting at the Princes Town
promenade. (See page A12)
When completed, the Couva
Children s Hospital will be able
to withstand even "doomsday,"
acting Prime Minister Dr Roodal
Moonilal said yesterday.
Speaking at the newly-
renamed Dr Roodal Moonilal
Ramai Trace SDMS Primary
School, Moonilal said the con-
troversial project would be able
to withstand a massive earth-
quake measuring 7.1 on the
"What we can tell you is that
in a doomsday scenario, that hos-
pital will be standing," Moonilal
Saying the Government had
withstood criticism and opposi-
tion over the project, he added:
"Our researchers and technical
people, when we met, they indi-
cated the fault line was there and
an earthquake can take place in
the next 500 to 2,500 years.
"The hospital is being built for
100 years but the design of that
hospital will resist a 7.1 on the
Richter scale, an earthquake of
that magnitude, so that it will be
a hospital built to withstand."
School named after Moonilal
Acting Prime Minister Roodal Moonilal, second from left, smiles as secretary general of SDMS Board
Satnarayan Maharaj shows the plaque at the re-dedication ceremony of the school's name from Ramai
Trace SDMS Primary School to the Dr Roodal Moonilal Ramai Trace SDMS Primary School at the school's
compound, Debe, yesterday. Looking on are Minister of Food Production Devant Maharaj, left, and
principal Adesh Ramlal. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
PLAQUE FOR MOONILAL
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