A screenshot of the video showing the man riding on top of a car on the highway. (Trinidad Express) Police are yet to identify a man who suffered multiple injuries when he jumped in front of a passing ...
(Trinidad Guardian) Although Kevon Richardson was not a major player on police’s radar, his connection to the criminal underworld and “running his mouth” may have cost him his life. Investigators said ...
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Trinidad: Man killed after identifying criminals in Facebook video post
(Trinidad Express) A Princes Town man who was shot in both legs by police two months ago was found dead near his home on Tuesday. Kevon Richardson, 37, was killed hours after he posted a video to his ...
Trinidad: Man charged under Anti-Terrorism Act sent for psychiatric evaluation
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Canada’s Trinidad Drilling offers robust fourth-quarter outlook
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Lee: ‘Uncaring’ Govt sending home Petrotrin workers before Xmas
POINTE-A-PIERRE MP David Lee says this uncaring Government was sending home Petrotrin workers amonth before Christmas.
He was contributing to debate on the Miscellaneous Provisions (Heritage Petroleum, Paria Fuel Trading and Guaracara Refining Vesting) bill in the House yesterday and lamented that 5,000 Petrotrin employees were being sent home.
"I wonder if the honourable Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance have spared a thought for the families that will have no income or their income taken away one month before Christmas? I wonder if his Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister could understand families who will be on the breadline, not able to send their children to school and university? To be able to pay their loans, to buy food?
"This has demonstrated that this Government led by the honourable Prime Minister is truly...uncaring, heartless administration – some people might say even wicked."
Lee said he called on Government to hold its hand and rethink the closing of Petrotrin.
He said his heart hurt as MP, as former Petrotrin employees would visit his office seeking solace, and described the closure as a cowardly act perpetrated by this Government. He recalled a few months ago the Prime Minister had a meeting in Marabella, when he described the act of closing down Petrotrin as brave and courageous and said history would vindicate him.
Lee said: "This country will never forgive the Prime Minister for closing down Petrotrin."
He asked, with four companies, whether there will be new CEOs and what their remuneration packages would be.
"Will we now see three CEOs like Wylie getting TT$240,000 a month?"
American Mike Wylie has been announced as the CEO of the Petrotrin Heritage Company Ltd.
Lee asked why locals who were part of the energy sector internationally, including the son of Naparima MP Rodney Charles, were not sought. That would be true patriotism, he said.
It was disingenuous for Imbert to speak about Petrotrin as though it was useless and never developed TT, he said, while in his budget statement last year he praised the company's great potential and described it as critical to the transformation to a gas economy.
Responding to Imbert's saying in the past six months Government had to guarantee loans for Petrotrin, hee said before this, Petrotrin was securing its own loans and what happened was that the board of directors perpetuated a narrative that the company was no longer viable and sent home workers.
He had a message for the trade unions and the people of the country: "Under a UNC administration we would have never shut down Petrotrin. We would have worked with the unions to make Petrotrin viable again."
Lee said the Lashley Report on Petrotrin spoke showed the strengths and opportunities outweighed the negatives and never spoke about closure.
"What happened eight months later? The Government wanted to shut down Petrotrin just so and destroy the unions."
He also questioned how the critical issues pointed out in the report, such as corporate governance, poor decision-making, lack of transparency and procurement, would be addressed with the new companies.
"Is it because they hire a fella called Wylie that he will make better decisions?"
He questioned whether, with the transfer of assets, contractors with liabilities will be paid, all temporary and permanent workers will receive severance packages and whether Petrotrin will be able to collect money owed to it.
He described the vesting bill as another chapter in the deception, manipulation and secrecy in what was Petrotrin.
MIKE WYLIE, Heritage Petroleum Company CEO, was recruited by two reputable firms who selected him from three finalists including an Iranian and a Japanese national, said Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young.
As one of the successor firms of the former Petrotrin, Heritage will do the exploration and production (E&P) of crude oil for export.
While Wylie’s $240,000-a-month salary was sharply criticised as “obscene” by the Oilfield Workers' Trade Union, which represents many laid-off workers at Petrotrin, Young suggested all was above board in the hiring yesterday as the House of Representatives debated legislation to vest Petrotrin’s assets into its successor firms.
Lamenting any “personal attack” on Wylie, Young said the new CEO’s resume speaks for itself.
Admitting to Opposition claims that Wylie was hired in August, Young said back then it would have been known that one part of Petrotrin would need to go forward as a viable firm to do E&P duties. “You don’t wait for the incorporation of the new company,” Young reasoned.
Boasting that the exports of crude oil now earn this country US$3 a barrel above the quoted price of West Texas Intermediary (WTI), Young quipped, “That’s why Mr Wylie was hired.”
Foul smell at Gasparillo Secondary makes students ill
A FOUL smell from a leaking septic tank at the Gasparillo Secondary School caused classes to end early today.
Newsday learnt some students reportedly fell ill and began vomiting, and others complained of feeling nauseous.
Frustrated parents said the problem has been going on for over a month, and are now calling on Education Minister, Anthony Garcia to intervene.
Speaking to Newsday today, one mother, Anika Joseph, said parents are fed up and do not know who or where to turn for help. She said their cries have fallen on deaf ears while their children’s education is being interrupted.
“This is ridiculous. Not only is our children’s health at risk, but they are also being denied a full day's work because of this problem. It is not fair to them.”
She said the septic tank needs to be replaced.
In a media release, MP for the area Dr Surujrattan Rambachan said he "understands that the school’s principal contacted the relevant agencies and nothing has been done except the usual fact-finding bureaucratic visit.
He said there appeared to be no sense of urgency on the part of the minister and ministry officials and this could result in the school being closed.
"Already, the school is being closed early twice a week," he said, and the physical environment for the delivery of quality education is being affected.
Parents said if the problem is not rectified they would be forced to protest.
“We did not want to protest, but it seems like this is the only way our voices would be heard.”
Dog handlers assigned to the K-9 branch of the Caroni Police station expressed fear that with turbulent weather expected over the next few days, the country may experience a repeat of flooding, and they are calling on police Commissioner Gary Griffith to have a plan of action in place to safeguard officers and the dogs from any danger.
During last month’s flooding, floodwaters rose as much as four feet, prompting the closure of the Caroni station, the evacuation of police and the removal of K-9 dogs.
The dogs were saved from drowning after their handlers contacted Griffith, who had soldiers sent to the station to collect the dogs and take them to higher ground.
Lifeline: Signs show mental state before murder/suicide
SIGNS exist before a person kills themselves (and maybe others) that can be detected by friends, family and co-workers, said Lucy Gabriel, head of Lifeline, an NGO that helps the despairing and suicidal.
Newsday sought advice in light of the recent murder-suicide of policeman Michael Youksee and his common-law wife, also a police officer, Raquel Kipps.
“There are signs people see in retrospect,” Gabriel said.
She said people have problems, yet cope – until there is a trigger for the act, and when the perpetrator’s view of the problem becomes very constricted.
Gabriel said murder/suicide can be viewed as the ultimate act of control of a person over another.
“I will kill you and then I will kill myself and no one can touch me,” she said chillingly, describing the state of mind of such a perpetrator.
She said people may be personally suicidal, by feeling crushed about life, and her office gets many such calls.
“But some people won’t call at all,” she pointed out. This group will mostly comprise certain men who then seek to end their lives using means whereby they can’t be brought back medically.
Gabriel revealed that often people intent on suicide actually don’t look depressed, but seem to be exactly the opposite, saying, “All of a sudden they cheer up. Did he clean up all of his affairs?”
She reasoned that, having made a decision to end everything, the person may feel he has solved all his problems, and so appear cheerful.
“People are very good at covering up. The very last people they would ever tell is the people who care about them,” she added.
While the loved ones left behind are devastated by a suicide, the perpetrator has convinced himself they are better off without him.
Gabriel said poor communication is at the heart of many suicides and murder-suicides, many individuals reasoning, “I’ll kill myself because nobody listens to me.”
Gabriel implored that if you see someone looking depressed (such as a workmate), one can use the “Start the Conversation” technique.
“Say a small thing: ‘Isn’t it a nice day?’ ‘I like your T-shirt’ or ‘My name is John’ – That can distract someone on their way to kill themselves. You can reconnect them to those around them.”
She also pointed out that a British study had also found that someone most vulnerable to suicide is the person who is always the life and soul of the party, as they are great at covering up things. Job loss can also lead a person to suicidal thoughts.
“A number of men measure themselves by their ability to provide. With job-loss he may feel useless as he cannot provide.
“It is now to persuade him, ‘You’ll get another job,’ and ‘Your wife married you for better or worse and the two of you can make it together.’”
Likewise, Gabriel said infidelity can affect men very badly.
“Men can’t take horn. It’s about his sense of self.”
While wives hate being victims of infidelity, yesteryear they had to stand by their unfaithful husbands, but nowadays they are often working independently and also are less tolerant of infidelity.
“The woman walks off and leaves him. She’s not taking it.”
Lifeline can be called 24/7 at 800-5588 or 220-3636.
THE shooting death of Kevon Richardson, 37, also called Dappa, in a track near his home in Princes Town may be linked to a video he posted on social media.
His death came hours after he posted an explicit live video on his Facebook page accusing several people, among them businessmen, of engaging in criminal activities.
Residents of Ayres Avenue, off Lothians Road, heard gunshots on Monday about 10.30 pm, but paid no mind. It was only around 6. 30 am today that they found Richardson's body in a track near his home with gunshots to the head. The track leads to Bonanza Street.
In a video, Richardson referred to himself as a "rat," meaning he was exposing other people's wrongdoings. Giving the names and aliases of several people, Richardson called on them to turn from their wicked ways. Residents said the video was posted at about 7 pm yesterday.
Today several neighbours said he was an outspoken person who wanted to get rid of criminals. They lauded him for his charitable work, saying he donated food and school supplies regularly for underprivileged people and hosted events for children. A few weeks ago, at High Street in Princes Town, he distributed supplies to people and was planning another a fun day for children. Richardson was not married and had no children.
One man told Newsday, "Dappa had his ways, but he helped out people a lot. This is a jealousy thing.
"He called out names too, so you never know.
"The man had cars and loved to ride a motorbike,"
Another said: "The killer came for him because knowing him, he would have fought back. He was strong and loved the gym. He was aggressive, too."
Other residents were reluctant to speak, saying, "You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Maybe he was really trying to expose the criminals."
Insp Yearwood, Sgt Ramroop, Cpl Nanan and other police from Princes Town and Homicide Bureau Region III searched the area for evidence.
On September 9, police shot Richardson twice at his home when they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance. A close friend of Richardson said his family was worried about him weeks before the police shooting, as he was behaving in an erratic and violent manner. It was believed that Richardson had a mental illness, but the friend said he refused medical treatment.
An autopsy on his body is expected to be done tomorrow at Forensic Sciences Centre at St James.
[caption id="attachment_736981" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Crime scene investigators at the scene of the murder of Kevon Richardson, 37 from Ayers avenue off LOthians road, princess Town was shot and killed in a track near his home. Photo: Laurel V Williams[/caption]
Religious leader David Millard, aka "Buffy," a close friend of Beetham shooting victim Dwayne Darrel King, says the 40-year-old businessman is a good man and believes he may have been shot for his outspoken criticisms of drugs and gangs in his Cocorite community.
Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Millard said contrary to earlier reports, King is still alive. He also said King is not involved in any illegal activities, to his knowledge.
He insists King has always been an fervent opponent of criminals and has made his living legally through investments in his gym and construction contracts.
He said, "He is a practising Muslim and I have known him for years. He has come from a good family and he has made all of his money honestly and legally.
"It's very possible that he may have been shot because of how outspoken he was against crime and drugs in Cocorite."
Millard says he visited King this afternoon and he is due to have surgery tomorrow.
Housing Development Corporation (HDC) Managing Director Brent Lyons is warning the public not to commit crimes or engage in fraudulent activity in pursuit of Government-subsidised housing.
The warning comes in a press release today and follows last week's reports of a couple who were evicted from an HDC unit at Greenvale Park after it was discovered they were illegal occupants.
Since then, the HDC has launched a campaign aimed at warning the public about potential scammers.
"We at the HDC, understand the importance of shelter to the average low and middle income citizen and this is why we are actively constructing over twenty housing developments across the country.
However, this urgent need for housing must not lead one to participate in criminal activities. Therefore, if you have been selected for a government-subsidised home and did not pay your administrative fees or down-payment at one of the legitimate cashiers located at the HDC Head Office, nor did you receive an official receipt, then you would have participated in a fraudulent activity and committed a crime,” Lyons is quoted as saying in the release.
There are presently over 180,000 applicants on the public housing database.
The release said this demand for housing may expose the public to incidents of fraud where applicants may decide to pay cash to nefarious individuals in the hope of expediting their housing application.
The recently-launched public education campaign cautions the public about scammers with a simple sentence, "HDC does not request payment to expedite a housing application."
The corporation said the campaign is intended to educate citizens so that they are empowered to reject such activities and also report these situations to the HDC or the TT Police Service’s Fraud Squad Division.
"It is our hope, that at the end of the campaign, citizens will be aware of the correct procedure for application and processing of government-subsidised homes and will be less at risk of individuals intent on preying on their vulnerabilities."
Drivers coming into Port of Spain until this Sunday are asked to drive with extreme caution and at a reduced speed, as the Ministry of Works and Transport has begun desilting work on several streets in the city.
A release issued by the ministry yesterday said Broadway and Henry Street are scheduled for night-time work from 8.30 pm to 3am and Chacon, Charlotte, George, Nelson and Duncan Streets, along South Quay, are scheduled for daytime weekend work from 9 am to 5pm.
The ministry sought to reassure commuters and drivers that all precautions are being taken to guarantee that proper health, safety and environmental standards are maintained.
For further information, please visit the Ministry of Works and Transport website or e-mail the corporate communication unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TT was named as the top Caribbean destination for Venezuelan migrants, in a story yesterday by the British Guardian. The paper reported that 40,000 Venezuelans had sought refuge here, ahead of 28,500 in the Dominican Republic, 16,000 in Aruba and about 16,000 in Curacao, said the article.
“Political repression, violent crime and economic collapse have caused at least three million Venezuelans – more than nine per cent of the country’s population – to flee their home since 2015, in an exodus without precedent in Latin America,” it said.
The Caribbean is on the front line of this.
The article contrasted the leisure of European tourists in the Caribbean with the angst of Venezuelan migrants, often here illegally, evading police and surviving on menial jobs.
“By far the most popular Caribbean island destination is the twin island nation of TT, which lies almost within swimming distance of Venezuela’s west coast.”
The article referred to a former investigative journalist from Monagas, Venezuela, who was targeted and threatened for reporting on a black market in subsidised food products in Venezuela, and who now packs breakfast cereal on grocery shelves in Trinidad.
“If detained by Trinidadian authorities, he risks being jailed, fined or sent back to Venezuela," the story said.
It also reported that: "In April, TT deported 82 Venezuelan asylum applicants, in violation of international refugee law.”
The story quoted the Prime Minister saying, “This country will not allow the United Nations or any other international body to convert it into a refugee camp.”
It said the Government has promised new legislation on asylum seekers, but this has yet to emerge.
The migrant journalist told the paper, “We live in a judicial limbo: we have no way to legally support ourselves here.
“I feel that I came from a country where I do not have rights, but here I’m also without rights.”
The article said Venezuelan migrants find cultural differences jarring, such as the English language, right-hand-drive cars and cricket.
“Security is also an issue," it pointed out. "Venezuelans leave behind a country judged to be the second most dangerous in the world, but TT is only ten places below that, and undocumented refugees are both targets and recruits for the islands’ gangs.”
The story quoted RC Archbishop of Port of SpainJason Gordon, saying, “As long as the borders remain porous, more Venezuelans are going to come.” He argued that rather than shun the migrants, TT should help them use their skills to build the economy, adding, “This is an issue that affects every citizen of the island.”