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Hold the Governor accountable about promises and plans to beat down crime; for T-Bone and others’ sake



Twelyn 'T-Bone' Swann, 20th Turks and Caicos murder victim

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – October 10, 2020 — Because violent crime is at its highest level ever in the Turks and Caicos, islanders must demand accountability when it comes to remedies announced during a crime strategy press conference held September 15.

Criminals are getting away with murder, literally speaking.  Leaders are getting away with not curbing these violent, deadly encounters, figuratively speaking.  Meanwhile residents and tourists are paying – in the worst cases – with their lives.

A 20th murder on October 8 revived feelings that safety is gravely under threat or non-existent in the Turks and Caicos, and that those managing national security are failing at their jobs.

H.E. Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor at swearing in ceremony, 2019

National Security is part of the portfolio of the territory’s governor, who at this time is Nigel Dakin.

A Turks and Caicos businessman, Twelyn “T-Bone” Swann was shot and killed at his home and business on South Dock road, sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  There has been a statement from TCI Police to confirm that a murder investigation is launched; nothing more.

Fifty-year old, T-Bone is well-known; a talented welder with a cheerful personality described as a ‘gem’ by those speaking to Magnetic Media.  T-Bone is another beloved citizen gunned down at the sanctity of his home, which points to a trend for armed private property invasions which target and terrorise victims.

T-Bone was a popular welder; residents are shocked by the cold-hearted killing

An outrageous crime, and confidence about catching the killer or killers is low.

One man spoke in a voice note about what he heard of how T-Bone was discovered:  “…he was shot in his chest.  Another mother who will never find out who do it; my God!”

“I really cannot wrap my mind around this, how these decent law abiding citizens gatta come to this man.  It’s like so heartbreaking.  You know?  It’s so heartbreaking.  I don’t know what this man children going through today and his family because it’s such a tight knit family.  This is such sad news man,” said a woman from the group.

The comments were shared on WhatsApp; a part of a string of remarks about T-Bone, about crime, about the prevalence of guns and about the safety of the Turks and Caicos.

“…guns are on the black market and there seems to be no raids that are going on although you can hear of where they might be and who might be in possession of them.  They’ve not really carried out any full scale raids to determine if the allegations being made have grounds,” said another woman from the chat who went on to inform, “They’re now saying you can have murder for hire in Turks and Caicos right now, if the price is right and people are afraid, really afraid.”

The Governor at the September press conference said there are raids which are getting guns off the streets.

“The Tactical Unit go from strength-to-strength. It’s they who are executing warrants at night, going through doors, removing weapons from armed men. Through experience they are becoming a ‘national elite’. Next month (October) they are joined by armed officers from the UK Police’s Firearms cadre – partly funded by the UK, partly funded by TCIG – who bring a full range of skills including the ability to go up against the hardest targets engaged in the most violent of offences. These UK Tactical Firearms Officers will be with us for a year while they are backfilled from our Force and the region. The UK is also sending firearms training officers to help upskill the overall Force,” said Nigel Dakin, Governor.

The raids by the tactical unit are covert operations. Trevor Botting, the Commissioner of the Royal TCI Police Force, during a media briefing on August  27, said over a period of 90-days the tactical unit performed 38 raids; there were seven arrests and four individuals have been arraigned on criminal charges.

Trevor Botting, TCI Police Commissioner

More overtly the Governor has promised the Turks and Caicos will get armed officers from the United Kingdom and local police members will be trained in how to safely and proficiently use a firearm. 

Accountability means, islanders should know when the help arrives and be informed of the progresses from this one-year deployment and training.

Two special investigators are also promised to arrive in the territory to boost capacity at the Criminal Investigation Department.

Crime scene at T-Bone’s welding company and home on South Dock Rd, Providenciales

“Two UK Superintendents have either arrived or about to. They, along with the recently promoted Willet Harvey (responsible for the Sri Lankan investigation) will form the crucial mid-level leadership in the Force – the UK officers bring much homicide experience with them and unlike the past won’t just deliver, they will mentor,” said Governor Dakin in the press conference shared with the premier and the commissioner of police.

Islanders are assured of law for the protection of witnesses in criminal cases; forensic science to strengthen investigations; new modern legislation to incorporate electronic evidence and partnership with security companies to increase capacity for more ‘eyes and ears’ working to prevent crimes and catch criminals.

“But beyond the Police there is a huge cohort of those involved in deterring crime – the security industry – and there is I believe much more that can be done in professionalising this industry, regulating it, and, as is the case in the UK, building serious partnership between it and the police. Exploratory work has started, again being developed out of the National Security Secretariat to do just that. If we get this synergy right we will have a significantly expanded group of well-trained individuals, to an internationally recognised standard, working to the same ends – the increased security of our communities.”

Additionally, there is a plan to get to the root of criminal behaviour.

“The Permanent Secretary National Security has now taken direction from the Premier to do just this – help build a crime reduction strategy that is cross-Government and in partnership with society. It builds out of the success in Bermuda and Glasgow, it’s complex, but it is probably the most singularly important piece of work that Government is presently engaged on and I’m heartened to see the way the intelligent conversation has developed over the last year with, I think, a real understanding that what we face today could have been foreseen or prevented had different approaches been taken in the past.  We now need to collectively write our own future,” said the Governor.

T-Bone Swann was found, reportedly, by a co-worker with a shot to the chest. There is no report on suspects or motive for the murder; No. 20 for 2020 in TCI

In the newest murder investigation of T-Bone Swann; the public learned: “Police Force responded to the South Dock Road area following a report at 7:11 a.m., that a lifeless body of a man was found on the ground outside of a building on Thursday October 8, 2020.”

The statement was issued on October 8.  There has been no update on the progress of the investigation.


Tim and Henry to the Rescue: A Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Highlights Need for Marine Vessel in Grand Turk



#TurksandCaicos, July 12, 2024 – At approximately 2:45 pm on July 12th, a 911 emergency call came in from the police department in Grand Turk, informing Ed Forbes of a distressing situation. Four young adult tourists had gone out on paddle boards off Cork Tree Beach in Grand Turk, when one of them fell off the board and could not get back on. Evidently, they underestimated the wind speed and their own brute strength.

Ed Forbes, co-owner of Exclusive Escapes Grand Turk, played a pivotal role in coordinating the rescue. Responding swiftly to the emergency call, he immediately reached out to the local search and rescue team. His prompt actions and calm demeanor were instrumental in mobilizing the necessary resources.

Within 20 minutes or so, Tim from Emerald Escapes, along with Henry and Kindry from Blue Water Divers, were on the scene. Their experience and swift response were crucial in ensuring the safety of the stranded paddleboarders. Working seamlessly together, they managed to locate and rescue all four individuals without any need for medical attention.

However, this incident also underscores a critical issue that has long plagued Grand Turk: the need for a dedicated marine vessel for search and rescue operations and cruise passengers incidents. Despite numerous promises made to concerned citizens over the years, this vital resource remains unavailable.

The swift response of Tim, Henry, and Kingdry highlights the community’s resilience and dedication, but it also brings to light the gaps in emergency preparedness that could be addressed with better equipment and support.

A dedicated marine vessel would significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of rescue operations, ensuring that responses to such emergencies are even more effective.

Ed Forbes
Concerned Citizen

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Invest TCI Opens New Office in Grand Turk





Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 11th, 2024—Invest Turks and Caicos Islands (Invest TCI) proudly announces the launch of its new office in Grand Turk, located at the Digicel Building on Old Airport Road. The grand opening of the new location occurred on Friday, July 5th, 2024, under the theme “Empowering Enterprises in the Capital.”

The establishment of the new office marks a significant milestone in Invest TCI’s growth strategy. The primary objective of the expansion is to provide enhanced services and support to the business community in Grand Turk. By increasing operational capacity, Invest TCI aims to facilitate sustained growth and success for enterprises within the country.  Beyond economic advancement, this initiative is set to yield substantial community benefits, including the creation of employment opportunities.

The grand opening ceremony attracted a diverse range of attendees, including recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme, members of the business community, government officials, and Invest TCI staff. The event was moderated by Mr. Keno Forbes, Vice President of Investor Services. Special remarks were delivered by the Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, who congratulated the InvestTCI team on their hard work and encouraged the community to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additional remarks were provided by Invest TCI Chairperson, Ms. Cindy Ewing; Business Advisor, Ms. Lashena Simmons; Director of the Business Support Unit, Mrs. Anissa Adderley; and Vice President of SME, Ms. Alexa Cooper. Their contributions highlighted the collaborative effort and dedication that have driven the success of Invest TCI initiatives.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new office, Invest TCI CEO, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, stated, “Our vision is clear and compelling: to further empower Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, the agency offers incentives and support that enable more efficient and innovative practices. We are committed to helping businesses thrive, and in doing so, we are helping our entire community.”

Invest TCI recognizes the integral role that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises play in the economic and social development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its Business Support Unit, the agency provides comprehensive support services to startups and existing entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the tools and resources to succeed.

The grand opening of the new office in Grand Turk represents a significant step forward in Invest TCI’s mission to support and empower businesses across the islands. The agency looks forward to fostering economic growth and development and ensuring a prosperous future for all.

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(Thursday, July 11th, 2024) Turk and Caicos Islands – The last of five American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for being in unlawful possession of  ammunition could finally leave the TCI today, Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Sharitta Grier 46 pleaded guilty on 25th June to having two rounds of.38 ammunition in her bags, at the Howard Hamilton International Airport in Providenciales on Monday 13th May, 2024, when leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands after a surprised Mother’s Day vacation trip, from her daughters.

Her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson agreed with senior defense counsel, Ms. Sheena Mair of F-Chambers that there are exceptional circumstancés in Grier’s case, by this, the court departed from the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment and ordered a lighter sentence of $1500.00 or Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid. She’s also sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.

Holding for the office of the Director of Public Prosecution via link was Dr. Angela Terry Brooks, deputy director of the DPP’S office.

The prosecution office did oppose exceptional circumstances and invited the court to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment.

A more detailed court report will follow.

Wilkie Arthur
Court Correspondent
Eagle Legal News Media

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