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Belief that ‘Thug drugs’ fueling crime crisis in Turks and Caicos

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 13, 2019 — In Turks and Caicos there is undoubtedly a violent crime crisis.  While the idea of a drug-fuelled resistance to law and order was rejected as the reason for the surge in gun related and retaliatory crime which has given the country its highest murder count, ever… everyone agrees the behavior of the offenders is unexpected, unnecessary and frighteningly unpredictable.

Street savvy observers tell Magnetic Media that bad minded men in the Turks and Caicos Islands are being further radicalized by two illegal drugs:  Molly and Flakka.

“That type of drug with gun in your hand; with these fellas anything is possible that is why there is no regard for the pastor, there is no regard for nobody right now because they are not really themselves.  It’s a mind transformer in the negative direction.”

Molly or Ecstasy was outlawed in the 1980’s and is a psychoactive drug which in its pure form is supposed to make one more empathetic.

The drug pills our young men and women are popping today are not pure; they are dangerous synthetic imposters responsible for corrupting emotional stability.  Pill sales are booming everywhere as a part of a multi-billion-dollar global industry.

“If you would notice from some of the court lists there’s a lot of people who have been getting arrested for drugs coming through couriers.  You see a lot of charges for illegal importation, wrongful importation, no declaration and those customs charges… that’s what they are, pills!  American contaminated drugs taking them into a different level.”

From US Department of Homeland Security

When it comes to Flakka, it too is synthetic or man-made.  In a CNN news item from 2015, it was said, flakka gives users “what feels like the strength and fury of the Incredible Hulk.”

Magnetic Media asked the question of our source: “Is the surge in violent crime and vicious attacks organized?”

The answer given was “no” and the reason for the negative response could likely be more disconcerting.

“What I am gathering is that for the past two or three years, there has been a continuous influx of pills, Molly, Flakka and that kind of stuff coming in from America.”

Drug dealers are also coming from Haiti said our source; it is big business and easy money.

Meanwhile, Molly and Flakka pills are giving users a dark sense of invincibility and an overcharged proclivity toward violence.

Photo from LiveScience.com in article on dangers of Flakka

Definitive research on the link between Molly, Flakka and violence is hard to come by but there was an interesting article published by the Huffington Post in 2011.

The article, which centered on the question of pill drugs being linked to an uptick in violent crime in Oakland, California featured a poem written by an inmate.  A few of the stanzas gave a grim view as the writer warned not to take the pills: 

A pill is mixed with every drug except for weed

The reason it keeps you up all night is cause of the speed

Whatever mood you in, the pill gives you more of that feeling

So if you mad and violent then you might go start killin’

By De Angelo published on HuffPost.com, 2011

The news article highlights the writings of those who have experienced, in some way the emotionally stimulating cocktail of drugs which give users greater courage for all of the wrong things.

“…and they write often taking the pills to ‘get up the heart’ for committing robberies, car-jackings, and worse – revenge killings.”

Sheerly Avni, the contributing writer of HuffPost.com said: “they already think no one cares about what they do.  Now they have found a drug that keeps them from caring as well.”

Our source unwittingly corroborates these established news organisations and other professional commentaries: “Weed is a calmer, cocaine was here for a while but crackheads on coke you would see them on the streets and stuff but this new drug, new in our territory cause it recently started to creep up on us, is kicking in and giving these fellas a different rush, a different high, a different speed and what happens is they think they are on top of the world and that type of drug with gun in your hand, anything is possible.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government must now catch up and work to educate in order to eradicate this hidden demon which is possessing and persuading younger men to make aggressive or homicidal decisions.

“So, we have a two-fold problem that I don’t think the government is really educated on how to deal with it.  It’s a drug, those pills they are the issue and they are clouding and damaging our young men and sending them into this rush to steal, rush to hold up…”

In the past 72-hours there have been reports of at least 10 incidents to Magnetic Media including armed robberies, aggravated assault, home invasion, a drug-induced frenzy and a fatal shooting.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Education

Next Year, more courses, more staff, new location for TVET says Minister Taylor 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2022 – TVET offerings in the Turks and Caicos will definitely increase, especially for incarcerated people according to Minister of Education Rachel Taylor.  Taylor was responding to queries from a resident about the limited course offerings in a Town Hall meeting on Monday November 21st.

“By next year you will see more programs being offered, not just at the prison, but also at the community college.” she said.

Mentioning that the Turks and Caicos Community College already offered courses like Commercial Food Preparation, Customer services as well as Electrical Engineering, but not some others like masonry, she said that the one thing they were working on was synchronizing courses between high schools and higher education.

“We will have to align the courses that are offered in high school also in the community college.  Persons may not be aware but the Caribbean Vocational Qualification is actually level one of TVET, so when our students finish with the carpentry and the masonry and data entry, they can move into level two at the community college.”

In order to make that happen there are several things the government must do, she explained.

“Currently, we have to get onboard additional manpower at the community college [that] has already been budgeted.”  She said that interviews were already taking place for adult learning assessment officers and a larger space at Alliance Business Plaza had been procured.

“We have recently purchased Club Pillows, which will be our new Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, which will provide us a better outlet to introduce additional courses.”

Referencing the new program geared towards inmates, she said, “The first phase of the MOU is the introduction of the Commercial Food Preparation and Customer services so we will definitely increase the offerings.  We will have that dialogue with the inmates in terms of the — kind of training they would want to receive.”

Increased TVET offerings had been one of the major requests from young people during a recent youth survey.  The Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute has also been flown into the TCI to consult and help broaden the offerings provided in the technical, vocational programme.

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News

Claudine Ewing Appointed CEO of United Way TCI

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November 25, 2022 – United Way Turks and Caicos is pleased to reintroduce Ms. Claudine Ewing as our Chief Executive Officer.

Inciting change and promoting growth are major attributes of one that leads a Nonprofit Organization; attributes that is regularly exhibited by Ms. Ewing, who was among the founding leaders of this 4 years old Non-profit Organization, she held the post of Executive Director for 2 years and was able to incite change and growth for many young people through our various programs and initiatives. During the severe period of Covid she was forced to leave, to become a caregiver for her parents who demanded much of her time.

However, her love for philanthropic work always held a place in her heart and she knew that one day she needed to continue on the path of changing the lives of young people for the betterment of our country.

Ms. Ewing’s ability to be a creative thinker, forge relationships with community partners, promote volunteerism, leverage the community to be consistent and get involved, are just some of the qualities that she bring to this role in such crucial times to strengthen the fabric of our community.

Ms. Ewing said “ I’m excited to be back on the team and even more excited to get our program initiatives back up and running, with creative ideas and community conversations that will have everyone engaged. “

Chairman of the Board, Mr. Mark Fulford said “As a Board we are please to pledge our support to our Executive Director Ms. Claudine Ewing. We encourage the community to get involve, as we reignite our Program Initiatives and continue to forge relationships with fellow Non-profits to have a greater impact in our community”.

 

About United Way Turks and Caicos:

United Way Turks & Caicos was established in 2018 by a group of Turks and Caicos Islands business leaders, together along with an established international donor. Our vision for ‘giving back’ and contributing to society is aligned with United Way World wide’s mission and values. This was the driving force behind the desire to replicate the success of the United Way model in the Turks & Caicos Islands. United Way Turks & Caicos Islands is comprised of 15 Board Directors within diverse sectors of our society and business community.

Together we set the goals for UWTCI and envision a community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through Education. Our Mission is to improve lives by cultivating and inspiring the caring power of the community to advance the common good of all which is being executed by an Executive Director and Staff supported by hundreds of volunteers.

 

Contact info: 6493334545

EDtci@unitedwaytci.org

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