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TCI adds COVID-19 Testing Sites to Accommodate New International Travel Requirements

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GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos Islands (January 26, 2021) – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) is pleased to announce that the destination has increased its COVID-19 testing facilities in response to entry requirement for the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada.   

As per, the CDC’s updated requirements, which go into effect today, January 26, 2021: all air passengers arriving to the United States from a foreign country must test no more than 72 hours prior to entry to the United States and present negative results prior to boarding their flights.  All travelers now have the option of getting tested at various approved locations on Providenciales and South Caicos with further testing sites on Grand Turk coming on stream.  

For Turks and Caicos Islanders traveling to the US, please note that a test will be required for all travel, regardless of length of stay in the US.  

During the past weeks following the announcement of these requirements, HE Governor and the Hon.  Premier called for the formation of a task force to proactively find solutions to address the possible fall out from these requirements. At that time the TCI did not have the capacity to conduct more than a few hundred PCR tests on island. This presented a risk to the tourism industry. Key partners of the Health and Tourism Industries began work in earnest.  

To meet these requirements TCIG/MOH authorized the use of self-administered lateral flow devices (LFDs) for the purpose of pre-departure Antigen testing for international travelers (for Visitors and Residents of the TCI).  

The institution of the new testing sites was made possible by the collaborative work of representatives from the Ministry of Health, Private health facilities and labs, TCHTA, Public Health England, Ministry of Tourism, Tourist Board and other key stakeholders.  

The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands has worked closely with its valued private sector partners to ensure that the destination has well above the capacity to meet the current testing load for visitors and residents alike. The following centers are open and approved to provide travel-related testing and are now accepting appointments. 

Amanyara (Providenciales), 1-649-941-8133  

Associated Medical Practices (Providenciales), 1-649-946-4242 

Beaches Resort (Providenciales), 1-888-BEACHES 

Carolina Medical Clinic (Providenciales), 1-649-9464367  

COMO Parrot Cay (Parrot Cay), 1-649-339-7788 

FamilyCare Medical Services Ltd (Providenciales), 1-649-431-3262 

Flamingo Pharmacy (Providenciales), 1-649-941-4527; Offering Services Starting February 1st 

Grace Bay Club (Providenciales), 1-649-946-5050 

Grace Bay Medical Centre (Providenciales), 1-649-9415252 

OMNICARE (Providenciales), 1-649-9415050 

Sail Rock Resort (South Caicos), 1-649-946-3777 

Seven Stars Resort (Providenciales), 1-649-333-7714 

Visitors not staying at accommodations listed are free to contact any of aforementioned sites for testing appointments.  

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with key partners will continue to work with interested agencies for the establishment of testing sites on all islands. Agencies interested in becoming testing sites are kindly asked to contact the Ministry of Health for further information.  

Additional information testing sites and requirements, will be uploaded on the following sites:  

Ministry of Health Coronavirus –  www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus 

Turks and Caicos Tourist Board –  www.turksandcaicostourism.com 

TCI Assured –  travelauthorisation.turksandcaicostourism.com/public

TCI News

Grand Turk Residents angry over break-ins and thefts

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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.”

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TCI Court

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

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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. 

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TCI Court

ALLEGED Knife-wielding carjacker gets bail

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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.

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