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TCI Immigration Department Sets The Record Straight On Syrian who smuggled into TCI

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#TurksandCaicos, April 12, 2021 – A local daily in the spotlight for publishing “misleading information” concerning an illegal immigrant seized by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force- Marine Division while aboard a boat in TCI waters in the Northwest Point area of Providenciales on 8th January 2020.

According to the Minister, the true account of how events unfolded after the arrest of the controversial Syrian is contrary to the information and alleged “wild” claims that Turks and Caicos Islands is ” part of an organised international human smuggling network.”

“My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders, I have read with interest an article in one of the local newspapers, speaking about a Syrian national being smuggled through these Turks and Caicos Islands,” said Hon Arlington Musgrove, the Minister of Immigration, Registration, Labour and Employment Services

“To set the record straight, here are the facts as I know them: On 8th January 2021 around 8:23 am, members of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force- Marine Division found a boat in Turk and Caicos Islands waters, in the Northwest Point area of Providenciales, with just one person on board, at the time,” Hon. Musgrove’s statement clarified.

“It would later be determined that the boat, which entered the TCI illegally, would have had a total of twenty-five (25) persons on board, including twenty-two (22) males, of which Mr Moin Alhashash, was one and three (3) Haitian females, ” he added.

According to the Minister of Immigration, Registration, Labor & Employment Services, Mr Moin Alhashash, a Syrian national, had spanned 14-months in Haiti, where he learned to speak Creole fluently. Of course, it was the same language he spoke during an interview through an interpreter.

The Minister further revealed that Mr Moin’s stay in TCI was inadvertent as he had paid the captain of the Haitian sloop four thousand (US$4,000.00) dollars for his journey to Miami Beach in Florida, USA. After his arrest by officers from the enforcement unit, he was charged with “Unlawful Entry” under the Immigration ordinance after pleading guilty to the offence.

Moin’s case was heard before the Chief Justice on 22nd March 2021 and sentenced to time served, suspending the recommendation for deportation for 6 months.  Later, application for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus regarding Mr Moin was heard before the Supreme Court on 30th March 2021 and relocated at 2.00 pm the same day.

The claim of many “unlawful detentions” by “The Sun” is not true, even though there could be a few errors in the entire process of handling the offender (Mr. Moin). 

“I hasten to add that the contents of the story are somewhat misleading in a certain respect and paints a distorted picture of my Immigration Department and staff. The flagrant allegations of abuse of statutory power are regrettable,” read part of Hon Arlington Musgrove’s press release.

However, the Minister did not rule out the possibility of errors during the process as the immigration staff are not infallible.

“The Immigration authorities are not infallible and have made some mistakes, but endeavour as much as possible to keep their processes and operations within the four corners of the law and do not believe themselves to be a superior force entitled to operative above the law,” said the Minister for Immigration.

“It must be noted contrary to assertions made that the Immigration Authorities take seriously any matter of detention and fully understand the constitutional implications of prolonged or any detention,” the statement read.

While the article deemed the detention process illegal, the Standards used in the TCI immigration department have been compared to the world’s best standards and mirrors those of the UK. 

Additionally, Hon. Musgrove stated that the Sri Lankan matter should not be used as a yardstick to measure the Immigration Department’s competence to adequately manage unlawful immigrants’ entry, their detention and eventual removal from the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Sri Lankans situation was unique and complex and presented its peculiar challenges, which necessitated the assistance of specially trained investigators. Finally, Musgrove warned those staying in TCI illegally to leave or face the consequences.

Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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News

Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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