Canadian flight crew busted in DR; but airline wants ‘innocent’ released
By Shanieka Smith
#TheCaribbean, May 16, 2022 – A major drug bust – about 200 packages of presumed cocaine weighing about 200 kilograms were seized at the Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic on an aircraft that was set to fly from Punta Cana to Toronto. The National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD) in the Dominican Republic said authorities allegedly found eight black packages each containing 25 packages.
As a result, a Canadian Airline crew from Canadian charter carrier Pivot Airlines, along with some passengers have been detained. The eleven detainees, nine of which are Canadians, one person from India and another from the Dominican Republic are being questioned to determine who and how each person may have been involved. Six are aircrew members, including two pilots, and five are passengers.
Pivot Airlines shared that the five crew members “discovered, reported and suspected that there was contraband in a maintenance compartment of the plane.”
In a letter to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, the CEO of Pivot Airlines, Eric Edmonson wrote that “for more than 24 days, our crew has been subject to threats against their lives, inhumane treatment, and arbitrary detention, for dutifully reporting a crime and averting a potential aviation disaster. We are deeply concerned for their safety and are pleading with you to intervene so they may return home to their families,” Edmonson said.
The company said they are “working diligently to secure the release of our crew.” In the meantime, a series of investigations is ongoing and the detainees, though they have been bailed, will have to stay in the Dominican Republic until the matter is resolved.
Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin
Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.
The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.
At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.
We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”
View the newly released calendar of events here:
JAMAICA: 12,362 Seniors Registered Under New Social Pension Programme
#Kingston, March 28, 2023 – There are currently 12,362 seniors registered under the Government’s new Social Pension Programme.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House on March 2, at Gordon House.
The initiative targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension (overseas or local) or any other retirement, old-age or disability benefit or regular income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility.
“We are evaluating the manner in which we qualify persons to go on the programme. This is a discussion we will have to have, as some people fall through the cracks simply because they might have a refrigerator, or they might be lucky enough to have a television at home,” Mr. Samuda said.
“The direction in which we are heading, to have those things, does not move you from poverty to prosperity. So, the Government has an obligation to do everything possible to improve their quality of life, and so we will be looking at that,” the Minister added.
Mr. Samuda said between March 2022 and January 2023, the programme disbursed $446 million.
To register for the social pension programme, persons may visit any of the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.
They will be required to complete a social pension application form, accompanied by their Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, and proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or a valid passport.
They should also take along a valid identification (ID), such as a driver’s licence, passport or voter’s ID, proof of bank account and any other document that may be required to process the application, for example, proof of citizenship.
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