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JENSEN LA VENDE
The on going saga between relatives of Dillon
and Duane Skeete and the T&T Regiment contin-
This time the relatives are claiming that the local
law enforcement agency or agencies are colluding
with their counterparts in Grenada to continue their
Relatives of the men, both locally and regionally,
told the T&T Guardian yesterday while soldiers were
on the manhunt for one brother they have ordered
the arrest of the other.
In a telephone interview yesterday Selma Skeete,
aunt of the two brothers, said Duane was arrested
some time after 10 am on Wednesday and is being
held on the behest of local authorities.
The woman said her nephew "has been a good
boy" since arriving in the country on July 3 and
have been staying at their St George Parish home.
She added that the 29-year-old has only ventured
outside to play football, go to the panyard and the
local grocery. It was at a grocery, Food Fair, that he
The relatives in Grenada said the police there
arrested Skeete for enquiries for a matter in Trinidad
but did not disclose what it was.
She said after arresting him they returned to
where he was staying and collected his personal
belongings, including his clothes. He is being held,
they said, in the St George Parish Police Station and
have been interviewed but not yet charged for any
However, when contacted yesterday Deputy Police
Commissioner in charge of Crime Glen Hackette
said he was unaware of any operations on going
where the Police Service had sought the assistance
of the Grenada police.
He said he would further look into the matter
today with the Interpol Unit, adding that anything
of that nature must pass through him.
Relatives believe Duane is being held because sol-
diers in Trinidad are hunting down his brother who
goes by the alias "Bandy".
The hunt, they said, stemmed from the murder
of Lance Corporal Kayode Thomas on June 29 at
Beverly Hills, Laventille, while Thomas was on his
way to visit his mother.
Thomas and the Skeetes are third cousins. The
relatives said the hunt was being led by a regiment
officer who went by the name "Robbie".
When called yesterday "Robbie" denied he was
hunting any of the men and called on those who
suspect him of leading a band of rogue soldiers to
report the matter to the regiment.
Since the death of Thomas soldiers have been
patrolling alone in the Laventille community.
Relatives of the Skeetes say they have been targeted
by the soldiers who searched homes in Toco, Couva,
Laventille and Champ Fleurs.
Friday, July 18, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
can face charges
for 17th JULY, 2014
Army hunt for
Rogue soldiers found to be
carrying out unlawful opera-
tions and physically abusing
citizens will be arrested and
However, several reports in
the media about residents of
Laventille and east Port-of-
Spain being beaten by soldiers
are yet to be reported to the
Public relations officer of the
regiment, Captain Stefan Alfon-
so, said the regiment had not
received any official reports of
soldier-abuse or complaints by
He, however, assured inves-
tigations have begun into the
reports highlighted in the media.
Acting Commissioner of
Police Stephen Williams, during
an interview with I95.5 FM
morning programme, said the
reports of abuse in some com-
munities were worrying.
"I have directed my officers
that if they get any reports in
relation to soldiers abusing cit-
izens and carrying out searches,
they need to investigate those
matters and if necessary pros-
ecute these soldiers, just as we,
the police, prosecute our police
"Just as police, if soldiers fail
to fulfill their duties and respon-
sibilities and commit criminal
offences they will also be pros-
ecuted," Williams said.
He insisted he did not request
soldier patrols independent of
the police and added that in Jan-
uary he requested joint
On Wednesday, Williams,
speaking at a media briefing,
said the joint/army patrols came
into effect in 2003 and fell under
the unit of the Inter-agency Task
Force with a focus on operating
in high-risk communities.
He added that this year addi-
tional demands were made for
the support of the Defence Force
when there were 19 murders
recorded in seven days.
He said discussions were held
with the Chief of Defence Staff,
Major Gen Kenrick Maharaj,
who has expressed concerns but
made it clear soldiers could be
deployed to any part of the
country for patrols by Maharaj.
"The issue has to do with
what the soldiers do when they
are outside there when Maharaj
sends them. The soldiers
searching, exercising police pow-
ers and authority, are not autho-
rised to do such," Williams said.
He insisted he could not make
suggestions to pull back soldiers
from patrols but warned them
to adhere to the law.
National Security Minister,
Gary Griffith who also spoke on
the radio programme, said sol-
diers who breached the law and
regulations could be jailed.
"If there are reports on sol-
diers... in the Defence Force you
automatically go to jail until you
can be proven innocent.
The Defence Force can quickly
investigate reports of abuse
within its ranks but there must
be an official report.
"Soldiers are trained to patrol
and bring stability to troubled
areas and they cannot make
arrests and carry out searches
without the police," Griffith
A soldier patrols Beverly Hills, Laventille, yesterday. PHOTO:
Japan expecting Caricom in full force at summit
The Japanese embassy in T&T says the
majority of Caricom leaders are expected
to attend the upcoming Japan-Caricom
summit in T&T when Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe visits T&T later this
Caricom s headquarters in Georgetown,
Guyana, says the summit will be a signif-
icant event and regional leaders are attend-
"Of course, Caricom is attending, it s
Japan, you know," Caricom secretariat com-
munications director Leonard Robertson
The summit will be held in Port-of-Spain
when the Japanese PM visits on July 27 and
28, as part of an 11-day Latin American
tour, for talks with regional leaders.
During his visit Abe also will meet in
T&T with 14 Caribbean regional heads to
discuss ways to promote economic co-
operation between Japan and the region.
Contacted on speculation about the sum-
mit, first secretary of the Japanese Embassy
in T&T Shoichi Ueda said all leaders of
Caricom states have been invited for the
He added: "I will say the majority of
leaders will be attending, pending formal
confirmation of the invitations being sent."
Ueda said the summit was aimed at deep-
ening relations on trade, energy and other
issues of mutual interest including climate
Robertson, who dismissed talk that the
summit was "in chaos," said: "It s early.
We are now in the process of inviting leaders
but of course Caricom is participating in
"I am not aware leaders are boycotting
it. I doubt that they are all blanking it. I
don t see how. It is, after all, Japan, a very
significant country, and it is that prime
minister s first visit to the region."
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dook-
eran did not answer calls and Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, immediate Caricom
chairman who will host the summit, was
unavailable to comment on attendance.
Government has noted that the current
period marked the start of Japan/T&T
Friendship Week when the two countries
would seek to deepen relations.
T&T is marking 50 years of diplomatic
relations with Japan with the visit of a ship
from the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.
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