Connect with us

TCI News

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.

Bahamas News

Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean  leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues.  Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.

Continue Reading

Caribbean News

Woman who lost foot is Alexandra Truwit, Yale Grad & All American Swimmer



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A champion swimmer, marathon runner, Ivy League graduate and world traveler with a huge smile– that is Alexandra Truwit; at only 22 years old, she has a whole life ahead of her, one that may have now been made exponentially harder by the loss of her foot in an incident which continues to be unconfirmed, but reported as a shark attack off the coast of Providenciales.

Magnetic Media learned Truwit, who is a very experienced swimmer, was on a private charter captained by an employee of Big Blue Collective (not a Big Blue Charter).  She was bitten by what eyewitnesses think could have been a Caribbean Reef Shark and her foot below the ankle was completely severed.

It’s a heartbreaking incident exacerbated by the young woman’s obvious love for- and proficiency in- the water.

The Yale website describes Truwit as a Two-time USA Swimming Academic All-American.  Featured as a ‘Teen Titan’ in her high school, she was one of ten young people chosen for the school’s magazine. 

Truwit, who has a twin brother, cites nail art and baking as her life joys. Already having survived ‘mono’ as a teen, she volunteers as a Special Olympics “hugger” and started a Special Olympics club at her high school.

She was airlifted from the Turks and Caicos on the day of her accident and there have been no updates on her condition so far.  Residents in the TCI and the US have expressed via social media their best wishes for the young achiever and must now wait, hoping for the best possible outcome.

One resident said, “So sorry Alexandra you had to encounter such a traumatic experience while on vacation on our beautiful Island.  I am praying for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for you, hopefully, the surgeon can work their magic for you.”

Continue Reading


Governor’s Appointed Member touts Civil Service Upgrade during Budget Debates



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – There are sweeping changes coming to the civil service this year after years of complaints about delays and understaffing.

“For the year 2023/24, the office of the Deputy Governor has a very ambitious public sector transformation centered around improving service delivery and the customer experience.”

This came from Governors Appointed Member Willin Belliard, as he rose in the budget debates on Thursday May 18 to detail the revamp.

Phase one of E-procurement which will allow for the virtual submission of tenders is to be implemented. Along with that will come E-Jobs, a similar system touted to make job applications virtual, swift and easy.

Implementation of the Human Capital Procurement Program is also on the list of deliverables. Human capital is sorely lacking in the Turks and Caicos across the public and private sectors with hundreds of vacancies sitting open and resignations continuing to pile up.

Public servants will also find it easier to enroll into the all new Public Sector Pension Plan with the advent of a portal to remove the need for paper based applications.

The previously announced pay grading exercise is on the table to be completed and a Contract management unit has now been created to manage the delivery of projects that taxpayers are funding.

Residents of the Turks and Caicos have complained bitterly about the state of the civil service in the country for years. From police records to the treasury, the service is characterized by low staffing, frustrating wait time and long lines.

Continue Reading