Connect with us

TCI News

Change again, Beaches Resort TCI to open FIVE WEEKS from now; 113 days since date change fiasco began



#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – November 14, 2020 — Perhaps on Wednesday the negotiations for a long standing tax dispute between the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos will begin and perhaps, on December 21st the property which employs 1,800 people will finally reopen to guests.

The website on Thursday night held the date for opening as Wednesday November 18.  Today, the Beaches website informs that opening for Beaches Resort in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos is postponed by nearly five weeks to Monday December 21.

Beaches Resort Turks & Caicos ready with COVID-19 health protocols in place, Photo by Magnetic Media

The date has been bumping back on the 2020 calendar since July, when international travelers were first welcomed back to Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory, after it shut borders due to the wave of Covid-19 walloping the world.

No opening in July for Beaches Resort almost immediately impacted airline schedules; it meant less flights and naturally, less tourists and less income for thousands of families and businesses. 

At the time, Beaches Resort promised to reopen on October 14 but stunned the nation when the Board of Directors of the resort also explained the opening was hinged on getting resolve in a four-year-old tax row.

October 14 came and went, no opening for the sprawling resort which accounts for around 70 percent of long stay visitors to the Turks and Caicos.  Instead, guests who had booked vacations began receiving apologies from the resort and the offer to either re-schedule or to visit a Beaches Resort in Jamaica. 


October 15, Beaches reiterated that the decision not to reopen was regrettable but necessary, as there remained no resolution.  The TCIG said it was owed over $26 million dollars by Beaches Resort.  Beaches Resort claimed it owed nothing and had been, for years, wrongly charged and suffered breaches in its development agreement.

A volley of spicy comments was swatted around in the public domain through press releases and media statements.  The stalemate between TCIG and Beaches Resort was now ugly but there was agreement on a mediator and the new challenge turned to confirming a date for negotiation of the dispute to begin.

November 18 was given as the new reopening date for Beaches Resort once and if the matter was settled.  November 18 was also the date given by Government for when the negotiation would start. 


Despite urging from the likes of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) to expedite the mediation meetings; there was no change for an earlier date. Onlookers knew this fact would create a problem and now we learn that it has… the Board is also immovable on its terms; the date for opening is no longer November 18 and that means a tourism rebound is stymied by stubbornness.

The initial announcement and stipulation for reopening by Beaches Resort executives came on July 24.  One-hundred and thirteen days later and there is still no resolution, therefore the gate of the country’s most significant tourism partner remains closed and the impact is far reaching, even devastating for the TCI’s rebound amidst this unprecedented pandemic.

Beaches Resort and the Turks and Caicos Islands Government are today both quiet about the reopening date change and about whether the negotiation with the mediator actually begins next week.

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.

TCI News

Grand Turk Residents angry over break-ins and thefts



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

Once again, police are urging vigilance, following another brazen robbery in the Capital but residents are discomforted by this latest incident where it appears robbers are targetting residents and lying in wait for them. 

“That’s his Sunday food sales money they plotted on,” said one resident. It follows the armed robbery of a family of five where thieves barged in with guns.

“Grand Turk residents are real upset about it, this type of thing is giving Grand Turk people unrest,” a source told our team. 

Police describe the incident as ‘undoubtedly distressing for both the victims and the community at large.’ 

The late-night attack came around 11:21 p.m. Sunday, the Police Control Room received a report that four masked men, three of whom were armed had entered a Grand Turk home, and proceeded to rob the occupants. 

The criminals escaped on foot.

Whether the latest robbers were actually lying in wait or just got lucky, there have been several other occurrences this year where unsuspecting residents were preyed upon. 

In one instance on March 15, a couple was robbed by men who were at their house prior to their arrival.  Then on March 22, a man was robbed by culprits who were waiting at his home for him to arrive. 

Before that, on February 23 residents witnessed an ambush caught on CCTV where a group of men drove behind and tried to corner a business owner as a gunman who had been dropped off at the ambush site tried to force him out of his vehicle.

That attack was unsuccessful. 

“Following the report, officers were dispatched to the scene, conducted extensive searches, and interviewed individuals. Based on the information received, we are actively pursuing several leads that will lead to arrests in the shortest possible time,” Police said of the latest robbery. 

Since these unnerving instances, police have confirmed that a report was received around 7:19 pm on Wednesday April 17, officers of the  Grand Turk Police Station responded to a call that someone stole a  white golf cart . 

“Officers made checks within the districts and found the missing Golf Cart parked on the shoulder of the road on South Base Road in the vicinity of Port Authority.”

Continue Reading

TCI Court

One of the Five Royal Jewels Robbers CONVICTED and Awaits Sentencing in Prison



Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

He was arrested in November of 2020, remanded to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation until November 2023 (three years later), when he was offered 40,000.00 bail and released. 

On January 22, 2024 his trial for the November 18th 2020 robbery of Royal Jewels on Leeward Highway, Providenciales commenced, coming to an end on April 18, 2024 with verdicts of guilty by a reduced number of jurors. 

After deliberating for some two and half hours, all five members agreed WILLIGENCE NOEL was one of the five men that held up, robbed and put the employees of Royal Jewels in fear with various types of unregistered firearms. 

The prosecution’s case against the defendant was that his DNA blood sample was left in the stolen vehicle used in the commission of the robbery. Although not admitted in evidence in the trial, common sense would dictate that police in a high-speed chase of the white van leaving the robbery scene did open fire at the vehicle carrying the robbers. 

Medical evidence was laid by Mrs Nayasha Hatmin, Senior Public Prosecutor, for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) against WILLIGENCE NOEL stating that the following day or some 12 hour after the robbery, chase and shooting, Noel attended the hospital with a gunshot injury/injuries for treatment. 

During the investigation after the officers found the stolen vehicle without occupants, shortly after the robbery, they discovered jewelry and spent shells in the van that they testified they lost sight of for some 7 to 10 minutes in an area near Dock Yard. 

Senior defense human rights attorney Ms Sheena Mair challenged the DNA evidence and made several applicational attempts to the learned trial lady Justice Ms Tanya Lobban-Jackson to get the DNA evidence thrown out but each time the application was refused. 

These applications were in the absence of the jury, Ms. Mair contended that her client could not have a fair trial if the DNA evidence was to be allowed. She raised several legal issues with the taking and police procedural process of the lawfulness of the taken and testing of the DNA. 

However, her Ladyship, the Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson kept refusing Ms. Mair’s application on what appeared to be different directions and reasons for her decisions each time. 

At the conclusion of the three-month trial, Magnetic Media in speaking to Human Rights Attorney Mair about the verdict and outcome of the lengthy trial, and she said an appeal will be logged immediately after sentencing next month. 

Her client was convicted of two counts of robbery (one for the jewelry store heist and the other for robbing the occupants of the store), using firearm so as to cause fear and allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle.

NOEL is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9, and was ordered to return to prison on remand pending sentencing. 

Continue Reading

TCI Court

ALLEGED Knife-wielding carjacker gets bail



Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent 

FRENDY MERONE faced Chief Magistrate Mr.Jolyon Hatmin on robbery and other criminal allegations on Tuesday April 16th, 2024 at the Providenciales, Old Airport Road Court House. 

Frendy Merone was arraigned on a knife robbery, taking a motor vehicle without authority and using an offensive weapon to cause fear. 

It is alleged that acting together with another unknown person he, on Thursday April 4th robbed Wilson Alfred of around $300.00 in cash and a Samsung cellphone. 

This incident occurred in the vicinity of the Clement Howell High School on Tumpa Avenue in Blue Hills, Providenciales.

At the same location and time, they also took his white Toyota motorcar and drove away with it without the owners permission.

The vehicle registration number is 16697. 

While committing these offenses, he allegedly put the virtual complainant in fear by displaying and brandishing a knife. 

During the proceedings, Merone’s lawyer, Mr. Oliver Smith,KC, along with the prosecution and the Chief Magistrate, reached an agreement to send all three charges to the Supreme Court. 

This decision stemmed from the fact that the Magistrate’s court lacks jurisdiction to try robbery cases, necessitating the transfer of all charges.

Merone’s sufficiency hearing is scheduled for June 7th, aligning with the usual practice of holding sufficiency hearings on the first Friday of each month.

Merone was granted bail in the amount of $7,500, a decision not opposed by the Crown. 

The magistrate imposed certain conditions, requiring Merone to report to the police station once a week and prohibiting interference with the virtual complainant.

Continue Reading