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TCI: Four “violent offenders” remanded to HMP, includes one from Royal Jewels heist

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File photo, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police

#TurksandCaicos – December 10, 2020 – One of the suspects in the November 18 heist, where suspects robbed Royal Jewels on Leeward Highway, Providenciales of hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive jewelry is not only caught but charged and remanded to prison.

“21-year-old Willegience Noel was charged with three counts of Robbery, one count of Being Carried in a Conveyance and Possession of Imitation Firearm with intent to endanger life in relation to the Robbery of a Jewelry Store on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 where culprits entered the business establishment escaping with hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewellery.”

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A police report informed:  Noel appeared before the Court on Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 where he was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison until February 5th, 2021 to be further dealt with.

Additionally, two other young men in their twenties and a 33-year-old woman are now remanded at prison in Grand Turk for their involvement in a string of gun related crimes.

Jerry Dossou, 21 is now formally charged with nine counts of crime including attempted burglary, carrying firearm and ammunition and escaping lawful custody when he managed to get away from TCI Police on November 30.

Dossou is held as just one of the suspects in a September 15 home invasion where a woman was robbed in the presence of her young child, explains a police report issued Wednesday.  The woman’s vehicle was stolen and reportedly used in several robberies in the Bight.

Dossou was also arrested for his role in a shooting in August.  Police in that incident recovered a gun and arrested Elisia Delancy, 33 and Carlos Higgs, 26; all were arraigned on December 8 and are scheduled to return to court on February 5, 2021.

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In a separate, show-stopping matter the TCI Police have made some headway into their investigation of the bandits who committed a bold heist at Royal Jewels on November 18.  One arrest in the case and the young man is identified by Police as Willegience Noel, 21 years old who now faces serious charges including three counts of robbery and another charged linked to possession of an imitation gun.

Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting is praising his CID officers; around five of whom are new and recently recruited from the UK to bolster the crime detection arm of the local police. 

“The officers and staff of the RT&CIPF are committed to keeping our communities safe and the charging of these men represent hard work, professionalism and tenacity by the Investigators involved. I want the public to be reassured that we will be relentless in the pursuit of those persons who are committing crimes and I want to give notice to those who are or who are planning to commit a crime, we are coming for you. You have a choice to make and I urge you to make the right one and do not ruin your life and others through committing violent crimes,” said Botting, in a media statement.

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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