Speaking about the incident a day later, Stoute
said: "My brother did not deserve to die. He was just an NHA (National
Housing Authority) worker. But I am happy that my child is alive and
well and very soon, I will be able to cuddle her again."
On May 30, two men were killed and four wounded
when three masked men opened fire on them during a card game in
The shooting and beating of Special Branch
officer, Const Derrick Nelson, who was the bodyguard of Justice
Herbert Volney, on June 1, did not happen in Laventille, but in Couva,
central Trinidad. Nelson was shot, robbed of his service revolver,
ammunition, cash, jewelry and thrown over a bridge. He fell 25 feet.
He died on June 7 at the San Fernando General
Hospital. The attack on Nelson led to acting Insp Christopher Holder,
president of the Police Second Divison Police Association to say that
if the government fails to provide the safety and security for police
officers, then officers should "shoot to kill" to protect their lives
and those of civilians.
Commenting on Holder’s statement, Police
Commissioner Hilton Guy said that he will not be party to that (shoot
to kill). Speaking at a promotion ceremony on June 3, Guy said that
now more than ever before, police officers were bombarded with
unprovoked attacks from criminals, and the officers should use
"appropriate defence measures to ensure their safety" when dealing
with criminal elements.
Other members of security services are also under
Security guard Glen Forde, 32, died at the
Port-of-Spain General Hospital after he was shot in his stomach during
a robbery on May 25 at Caribbean Steel Mills, Arima, where he was
stationed. Forde, who worked with Pentagon Security Services, and a
colleague were confronted by three armed, masked men. They took Forde
co-worker’s firearm and four rounds of ammunition.
Forde was shot in his lower left abdomen during a
struggle with one of the bandits. Another security officer was
relieved of his gun on June 4. The guard, Marlon King of Paragon
Protection and employed with Carib Brewery, was accompanying a
delivery truck to a Morvant supermarket.
Prime Minister Patrick Manning has come under
heavy fire for blaming the crime situation on the easy availability of
guns from Venezuela. Manning had said on June 5 there was a link
between the increase in the number of guns in the country and
Venezuela’s political disturbances.
"There has been an increase in the number of guns
in Trinidad and Tobago. We noticed it when developments took place in
Venezuela and we must understand that that has had an effect here," he
Manning conceded that the crime situation has
worsened since the PNM took office 18 months ago.
Opposition UNC MP Gerald Yetming said: "Crime is
everybody’s problem but the government’s problem. It ain’t Chin Lee’s
(National Security Minister Howard). It is now Chavez. Chavez is so
powerful a man that he sits down in Venezuela and creating an increase
in crime in Trinidad and Tobago."
Chaguanas mayor Orlando Nagessar also criticised
Manning for making the link between guns in Trinidad and its
availability from Venezuela. "I heard the Prime Minister saying on the
news that the illegal weapons throughout the country came during the
riot in Venezuela, but how did all of these guns enter the country
without being seized? Someone had their eyes closed."
Oil company criticises Morean over remarks
Attorney-General Glenda Morean has responded to American Oil Company
Frank Wade Oil (FWO) saying that its criticisms of her were
"unfortunate" but she did not provide any specific evidence to show
that a former minister requested a bribe from FWO.
FWO on Friday stated that Morean was wrong to say
that the company had been approached for a bribe by a former
government minister during its contract bid for work to re-develop the
Southwest and West Soldado oil and gas fields.
But, although the AG released some excerpts of
FWO’s Summary of Dispute in the matter and an affidavit, there were no
instances where FWO made reference to a former government minister
asking for a bribe. However, reference was made to corrupt "and other
unlawful conduct by officials of TT State enterprises".
FWO in its release on Friday noted that its claim
was based on the termination of the tender contract and "not based on
any allegation regarding a request for ‘improper consideration’ by a
former minister. FWO notes that it did not allege that a former
minister of the government requested any payment".
Last week the AG’s release quoting FWO’s Summary
of the Dispute stated: "The summary begins with the statement that ‘FW
Oil claims in this arbitration results from corruption and other
unlawful conduct by officials of T&T State enterprises. In retaliation
for FWO’s refusal to pay a US $1.5 million bribe in connection with an
oil an (sic) gas contract...’"
The initial set of documents stated that "certain
T&T officials demanded a US $ 1.5 million bribe and threatened to
block FWO’s proposals unless the bribe was paid".
It also noted, "During the negotiations, however,
and without FWO’s knowledge, certain T&T officials, hoping to benefit
personally from the Trinmar project, had embarked on a course of
conduct that would ultimately cause Trinmar to withdraw the award of
In a subsequent statement, the AG’s office sent
what it described as "a portion of an affidavit supplied by FWO, which
accuses a named government minister of blocking the project for his
own personal interest". The minister’s name was omitted in the
affidavit sent by the AG’s office.
That portion of the affidavit referred to a
meeting with Trinmar representatives on March 19, 2001 in which
Trinmar confirmed that the Soldado Project had been put on hold by
Petrotrin. It added, "During this meeting FWO was also informed that
the approved version of Trinmar’s letter of February 26, 2001 did not
seek to withdraw the award from FWO."
It went on: "However, acting in his own self
interest and without board approval, a … Minister…inserted the final
paragraph of the letter withdrawing the award from FWO. He …held an
interest in an …energy company that was a potential bidder for the
Soldado Fields Project. It was thought that he was trying to ‘guide’
the Project to that company."
Contacted for comment last week, former energy
minister Finbar Gangar said, "It appears that the Attorney General was
misinformed when she stated a former minister had approached FW Oil
for a bribe."
Gangar, who was energy minister under the United
National Congress (UNC) government between 1995 to 2000, said he has
never taken a bribe in his life.
He described the statements being made by the AG
as a "national farce and a circus".