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TCI: Sneaking in through South or navigational miss, another Haitian sloop makes landfall

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#TurksandCaicos, April 14, 2021 – The boats from nearby, embattled Haiti just keep on coming to the Turks and Caicos Islands and so do messages of warning from officials. 

“The public is reminded that it is an offence to harbour or assist illegal persons and that persons found guilty engaging in such activities are liable to a fine of US$20,000 or a term of imprisonment of four years, or both in accordance with the Immigration Ordinance 2018 Revised or any law,” said a Ministry of Immigration statement which also confirmed the illegal landing on Monday April 12.

“The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services and the Immigration Department of the Turks and Caicos Islands, would like to advise the general public that during the early morning hours today 12th April 2021, an illegal Haitian vessel made landfall on the Island of South Caicos.

The vessel which was found abandoned, was located on the beach area in close proximity to Sail Rock Resort.”

The landing in South Caicos was new; mainly smuggling operations end in Providenciales, which is the bustling economic center of the Turks and Caicos.  This time, the country’s fishing capital was likely more of a sure bet or a navigation mistake.

“It has not been determined on the number of persons that might have been aboard, however, the search is ongoing. These searches are being done by the Police and Immigration with the assistance of partners, DECR and Environmental Health

Officers are also monitoring both the sea and airport, as a precaution.”

A search is now on for those who would have been on board the vessel and there is no telling who or how many that could be. Children, infants, women even illegals from other countries including Syria, Sri Lanka and Guyana have all be caught on these dangerous people smuggling missions. 

Minister, Hon. Arlington Musgrove in commenting on this incident stated, “Maritime smuggling operations are dangerous and too frequently end in tragedy and death at sea. There are many different reasons that migrants attempt such unsafe voyages at sea, but none of them are worth the risk of life. The landing on South Caicos is a further indication of the abuse of our borders by persons and this is something that we will not entertain”.

 Now, the authorities are hoping for help from residents of the quiet community. 

“…the public is also requested to provide the Police with tips or any information related to this or any other illegal landing. We encourage the public to submit information or tips anonymously in English, French or Spanish either to www.crimestoppers.tc or on Facebook as a fan of Crime Stoppers Turks & Caicos. Crime Stoppers tips are received in the USA.”

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Covid-19 Update for Turks & Caicos

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#TurksandCaicos, January 23, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos recorded seven new Covid-19 cases in the period from January 8th to 14th pushing the county’s total active infections to 18.  Four of the seven new cases were in Providenciales and three were recorded in the nation’s capital Grand Turk.

There were six recoveries during the period and the current death toll remains at 38.

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Skerrit holds on as Dominica Prime Minister, Snap Elections decimates the Opposition UWP

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By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#Dominica, December 7, 2022 – The big story of the night was not that Roosevelt Skerrit and his Dominican Labour Party were able to hold onto electoral power in Dominica, but that independents caused an upset, denying the DLP a sweep of all 21 seats.

The snap election victory proved not to be a snap for Skerrit, who on a social media aired radio show congratulated the two independent candidates now holding seats in parliament.

Skerrit’s DLP was still unable to sway the constituents of Marigot and Salisbury; they continue to prefer other political options and this time, Anthony S. Charles won the Marigot constituency with 491 votes, securing – unofficially – a popular vote of 59.44 per cent.

Jesma Paul won with 617 votes with a voting turnout of 57.13 per cent and Lynsia Frank of DLP lost, receiving 463 votes 42.87 per cent from the Salisbury Constituency.

In a sixth consecutive political victory, the Dominical Labour Party gained one seat over their 2019 finish.  With a notable boundary change, the DLP took Rousea Central which had last time gone to the now, decimated UWP.

Elections are due every five years in Dominica; this election should have technically been held in 2024, however, Skerrit last month called the General Election early.

As prime minister he has the prerogative to call for an election anytime within the constitutionally mandated timeframe.  Still, the early call and boycott of the process by unprepared political parties drew in two election observer teams.

One from CARICOM, the other from the OAS.

Organization of American States dispatches team led by former Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie after concerns were voiced by residents and opposition members on the snap election called by Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to be held on December 6th the country’s leaders invited the Organisation of American States to witness the elections.

The OAS spoke to local media after ballots closed around 5pm explaining that for the most part they had not observed any questionable practices.

Perry Christie, former Bahamian Prime Minister who was part of the 16-person team told reporters

“We are aware of the extent to which there was concern about the electoral process. And or job simply is to make a report and recommendations all with the intention of advancing the democracy of this region— we are generally finding that the facilities are adequate, [though] there are one or two recommendations we will make.”

There were 15 seats up for contention since the ruling Dominica Labour Party was elected unopposed in five seats across the country as the main opposition party the United Workers’ Party boycotted the elections.

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Don’t be Spoofed!  Just Hang Up!

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, December 7, 2022 – Spoofing’, it’s a silly sounding word for a very real cybersecurity threat, a sneaky exercise that criminals have used to defraud people around the globe.  In a single operation last month police found that at least 70,000 UK citizens had been scammed out of  £46 million through spoofing.

By now sensitization campaigns and news articles have warned about Lottery scamming and residents may well be aware not to send anyone who promises to make you a millionaire any money but what if the call is coming from your bank?  This is the premise of spoofing.  While it too happens over the phone it differs from lottery scamming in a big way.

“Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.  Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust,” the US Federal Communications Commission explains.

They can choose to appear as tax officers, your local bank, government institutions etc.

So how do you know if someone is trying to use spoofing on you?  And how do you protect yourself and your hard earned money?

The FCC says these scammers usually use a script, because, despite their appearance they don’t actually know you, as soon as the conversation begins. they make it their mission to get as much information about you as possible.

  • Hang up as soon as you get a suspicious call.  Don’t converse, don’t wait.
  • Request their full name, position at the institution they claim to be representing and the name of their manager.  Hang up and call the number listed in the phone book for the institution to verify the authenticity.
  • The FCC says, ‘do not respond to any questions’, especially those that can be answered with “Yes“ or “No.”
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up.  Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it.  Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number.  A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.

Remember if in doubt just hang up.

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