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Bold Theft; were Police really siding with the Crook?   

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 7, 2022 – The Professional Standards Team of the Royal TCI Police Force has opened an internal review of whether members of the Force carried out proper operating procedures in response to a robbery in progress report.

Police Commissioner, Trevor Botting in response to Magnetic Media questions confirmed that a complaint from a homeowner has, “raised concerns with how the matter has been handled and our professional standards team is looking into the issue.”

The matter about which the Commissioner is responding involves a homeowner in eastern Providenciales who, on CCTV camera, caught two men ripping him off; they were about to make off with all of his plywood.

His alarm system triggered the alert and brought him to the scene where he was able to block in the white flatbed truck which was without plates and appeared to be unlicensed as Police, who had already been called, were on their way.

Those CCTV cameras were installed after the man suffered a previous robbery. He could not prevent the escape of one of the suspects but the other, the truck driver, remained at the scene.

The Police arrived and the homeowner thought the incident would be wrapped up, a straight forward open and shut case, but he was sadly mistaken.

After one suspect ran off into bushes and got away, the driver who stayed behind made repeated requests that his truck be released to him.

The man, who had also issued the CCTV video to the Commissioner of Police explained to Magnetic Media that he lost confidence when the responding officers seemed to side with the ‘thieving’ driver of the truck.

Police said, according to the complainant, the man was merely the driver and should get his truck.

The CCTV video clearly shows two men brazenly loading, sheet by sheet, the plywood from a stack in the yard to the bed of the truck.

The home owner, who told us about the ordeal on Friday April 1, explained he had to remind Police about the video which clearly showed the driver was an accomplice and co-conspirator.

What would follow would be more missteps by Police including showing up late to take the homeowner’s statement at the Grace Bay police station and despite being warned, entering his homeowners property without his permission in another attempt to extract the truck

While they claimed it would make up evidence, the man demanded a court order and said he discovered that at the time, the CID was not even aware of the matter.

For the homeowner his other concerns were that the police seemed to be in league with the thief, that according to him the criminal investigation department was not more immediately alerted to the brazen theft and that officers easily ignored his right to privacy presenting no court order to remove evidence in an attempted theft caught on camera.

Additionally, at least one Police officer when asked by Pastor Pedro Williams, who was called to the troubling scene when an unauthorized wrecker was trying to pull the criminal’s truck out of the victim’s yard, was curt and disrespectful toward the well-known church leader.

“This is a story that needs to be brought to the public.  Not for me but for the public because the public needs to understand their rights. We need to understand when the police are overstepping their boundaries. If it was someone else, this situation would have gone differently because people see the uniform and a badge and they run scared.”

The homeowner is also calling upon Police to initiative an information campaign to make citizens more aware of their rights; detailing how Members of the Royal TCI Police are supposed to act and what they are allowed to do when tending to a crime scene.

“I am not out to say shame the Police I just want people to understand this is your right, you have authority…”

The Commissioner, in that reply to Magnetic Media informed there has been an arrest in the case.

The Police should go another step further and make this individual known to the general public by exposing his identify upon formal arraignment.

According to the homeowner who shared his story, due to the massive increase in the cost of building materials, theft of supplies has spiked and is plaguing his Community.

Caribbean News

Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.

“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.

Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”

Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.

“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,”  Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.

The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.

Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.

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Bahamas News

National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

 

#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.

“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.

Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.

Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”

The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.

Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.

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Africa

The Incredible Story of David Avido of Kenya, 24 Year old designing for the Grass Roots to the Stars

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

 

#Africa, February 2, 2023 – One Kenyan designer began a sewing business out of the slums where he was born; now he dresses some of the Caribbean and Africa’s most famous faces.

Born the oldest son of a single mother and from Kibera Nairobi, David Avido Ochieng did not have an easy start. In Kibera, the largest urban slum in East Africa opportunities for international success are hard to come by and yet Avido can now say he has dressed the likes of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Beyoncé, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, Ty Dolla Sign, Koffee and many more.

As explained on his website, David dropped out of school to work and support his family quite young. In just first form he was working on a construction site but he knew he wanted more from life. After quitting his job he danced and saved what he could and tried his best to complete his education.

He told Vogue magazine: “When I started dancing I used to save money in order to go back to high school, with the little that I could get from dancing and my mom’s money from doing work as a house help, we were able to raise 15,000 shillings and with that, I joined an adult school and skipped forms two, three and four.”

David picked up a sewing machine to make costumes and realized his talent.  By 2015, his brand LookslikeAvido was born. He completed a fashion & design diploma at Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts and began to sew incredible pieces right at home in Kibera.  Even as his brand is globally recognized, Kibera is where his workshop remains; David says, his homeland is his great inspiration.

“There is no barrier if you believe in your talent and take the next step. I want to encourage and create beauty, where people don’t expect.”

Talented and thoughtful Avido is well aware of the stereotypes surrounding him, his home and the black community globally.

“We know about injustice and violence, prejudice, racial and social discrimination – we experience it within Kenya and we experience it globally, as people look at us as the poor, the uneducated, the needy,” he said.

Featured in Vogue, CNN and other international publications, Avido remains connected to his origins in a tangible way and as his success grows his roots just go deeper. Twenty per cent of all sales of his jackets and other clothing items go directly back to Kibera; his website explains ​that all the tailoring, product photoshoots and collaborations ‘is all done here in Kibra.’

There is no fabric waste from his garments, instead, scraps are repurposed into masks and shopping bags for residents, all his tailors are local residents, a portion of profits are used to pay school fees and Avido and his team put in extra time to make school uniforms as well.

On his website, is a photo of him sitting around a sewing machine, his worktable resting on hard-packed earth with presumably a group of family and friends surrounding him, a source of pride. The introspective photograph could have been taken in Nairobi, Trinidad or Barbados, so nostalgic is the picture, the bench and the story of community success that it represents.

In a video posted to his YouTube, David sits at his new work desk, and beside him hangs a rack of clothes in the cramped space that serves as his kitchen as well.

“I’m the firstborn of Kibera,” He explains, “Every kid in Kibera is looking up to me— my main dream is to open up a place where I can inspire people to work.”

David has a dozen employees and is listed in Beyonce’s directory of black businesses; with an uncommon wisdom, the designer knows that his successes so far are not parking spaces but rather stepping stones as he faces his future announcing that the journey, for him, continues.

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