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Crime

Murder, Human Trafficking, Interceptions, Gun Arrests & Theft Charges from TCI Police  

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Man Murdered in Grand Turk; Homicide count to SEVEN for TCI

 May 9th, At around 5:10am this morning, Monday 9th May 2022, a body of a man was found in Back Salina, Grand Turk. Given what is known so far, a murder investigation has been launched by RTCIPF Serious Crime Detectives.

ILLEGAL MIGRANTS MAKE MOTHER’S DAY LANDING in PROVO

 May 8, At about 12:30 am on Sunday 8th May 2022 it was established that a sloop had landed at North west Point when a boat was found on the shore. It is believed, at this stage, that whilst the vessel was detected by the Coastal Rader Station, the vessel was too close to the coast to be intercepted by the RTCIPF Marine Branch, despite the Police Boat being in the area at the time.

A number of what are believed to be illegal migrants were seen on land in the North West point area. The Police and Immigration Enforcement were deployed to the area and the operation continues to locate and detain any persons from the landed vessel.

Police INTERCEPT second Sloop on Mother’s Day near Provo, THREE Children aboard

May 8, At around 8:30pm on Sunday 8th May 2022, the Coastal Radar Station alerted the Police Control.

Room that they were tracking a target seven miles off the coast of Providenciales.

The RTCIPF Marine Branch subsequently intercepted a boat carrying suspect illegal migrants at just after 9pm. The vessel and persons were detained and brought into South Dock. Forty-nine (49) persons, including three (3) children were handed over the Immigration Enforcement Team and taken to the Immigration Detention Centre

THIEF CAUGHT WITH STOLEN GOODS

May 9th, On Monday 9th May 2022, 31-year-old Wolbert Fergusson of Kew Town Providenciales, was formally charged with the offence of Burglary.

The offence was committed at an office located on the Leeward Highway.

The crime was solved shortly after it was committed, due to the vigilance and initiative of two off-duty Police Detectives who saw the suspect walking on the roadway, carrying a backpack in the early hours of Saturday 7th May, 2022.

The officers apprehended the man and conducted a stop and search on his person and the backpack. During the search, the officers discovered what appeared to be stolen goods.

Checks were made at buildings in the area for signs of a burglary, and a shattered glass window was discovered at an office building nearby.

Further inquiries were carried out which confirmed that the recovered items, were property that had been left secured in the office.

The off-duty Police officers are commended for their vigilance, which resulted in the arrest of the offender and the recovery of the stolen property.

The defendant appeared in court on Wednesday 11th May 2022.

PROVO MAN AGREES TO SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR GUN & AMMO

May 9th, Leonardo Forbes of Blue Hills Providenciales was on Monday 9th May 2022, sentenced to seven (7) years in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of Keeping Firearms and Keeping Ammunition.

The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on November 1st, 2021, when police received a report of a male being shot to the face in Blue Hills, Providenciales. Police responded to the location and commenced investigations that included the execution of a firearms warrant on the home of Forbes by RTCIPF Officers. Three (3) illegal handguns and 104 rounds of assorted ammunition were recovered.

Forbes was subsequently formally charged for Keeping Firearms and Keeping Ammunition, as well as, Inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm on another male. The latter charge was withdrawn as the victim requested no action against the accused. The matter has now concluded after a successful prosecution that secured a conviction.

Management of the Criminal Investigations Department expresses gratitude and commends the teams of officers from the various units for excellent teamwork and initiative; which resulted in Leonardo Forbes being successfully prosecuted and convicted but more importantly, the removal of three illegal firearms and over one hundred rounds of ammunition from the community.

US Coast Guard foils illegal entry of over 200 Illegal Migrants from Haiti

May 9, At around 9:15am Monday 9th May 2022, a sloop, believed to be heading to the Turks and Caicos Islands was identified by our close law enforcement partners, the US Coastguard around 21 miles south of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The RTCIPF Marine Branch was deployed and the Immigration Enforcement were informed. However, the vessel was intercepted by a US Coastguard Cutter and the persons on board will be repatriated back to Haiti. The total number of persons on board was 212.

Commissioner of Police, Trevor Botting said, “I am grateful to our close collaborative partners from the US Coastguard who intercepted this large vessel which was believed to be headed to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Through working together with the USCG and colleagues from the Bahamas Defence Force, we are deploying a strong collaborative defence of the borders and territorial waters of the TCI, Bahamas and the US.”

Interception thanks to Coastal Radar, 129 Haitians stopped

MAY 12th, at about 12:09am on Thursday 12th May 2022 the Coastal Radar Station detected a suspicious vessel around 6.7miles south of Providenciales and started to track it. Immediately, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Marine Branch made their way to the location and safely intercepted a vessel carrying irregular migrants. Following the stabilization of the boat, that was unsafe, taking on water and ensuring that the migrants were safe, the RTCIPF marine unit towed the boat to South Dock where its 129 passengers, 100 males and 29 females were safely unloaded.

They were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department.

Whilst managing this situation the Marine Branch were also dispatched to a second suspicious vessel, however as they intercepted it they found it to be local fishermen returning home.

Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Once again we have safely intercepted another vessel that was overcrowded, unsafe and risking the lives of those on board. Again this demonstrates the professionalism and dedication of the Coastal Radar Station Team, the RTCIPF Marine Unit and our Immigration colleagues, working together to  save lives and keep our  borders here in the Turks and Caicos safe. I Would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call Crime Stoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477, not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security.”

Caribbean News

International GANG behind DEADLY crime wave says TCI Premier

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2022 – International gangs are at least partially behind the unusual and tragic flare up of violence in the Turks and Caicos over the past month according to  Washington Misick, TCI Premier. He made the revelations in a National Address on Monday (September 26) night after the third double murder of the month.

“September has seen organized crime gangs including gangs with international and external affiliations fighting for control of the drugs money and territory in these islands. We are now subject to crime generated not just within our borders but without.”

In response, the country leader said resources were being mobilised to find those responsible ‘whether they are here or elsewhere’.

The premier did not delve into where these international affiliations were or which major organized gangs were reaching into the small archipelago.

The revelation does answer in part at least the perplexing question of why the sheer number of violent killings has risen so dramatically in a little over three weeks. For context 11 of the islands 22 murders this year were committed during that time.

It’s not only international gangs, the drug trade has been fingered by Misick as a major driver of the killings in the TCI. In a previous press conference Misick stressed, “At the heart of the gun violence in this country is drugs, that is what the fight is about and we all know that’s what the fight is about.”

In response the Turks and Caicos Islands Government is calling in the cavalry.  TCIG has requested reinforcements from the Caribbean, North America and Europe, the premier has revealed.

Several immediate actions are to be implemented in the coming weeks and they include:

  • More police officers will be deployed on the street especially in affected areas. While the regiment will not be joining them in the field they will they will take over administrative duties and maritime duties to free up more officers
  • An official letter has been sent to the Foreign Commonwealth development office and Prime Minister Liz Truss requesting military and police assistance. A response is expected shortly with “specific deliverables”
  • Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas have all been contacted to lend police reinforcement which Misick said “should result in boots on the ground” after ‘encouraging’ calls.
  • A request to the US Department of Homeland Security for surveillance aircraft  to patrol the ocean between TCI and Hispaniola to stop all types of smuggling.
  • Twenty-three officers will arrive in the coming days along with a inspector and a chief superintendent to set up a drug gun and gang unit.
  •  Interim and permanent forms of air support are being procured
  • Armored vehicles for police are being purchased and will arrive in the islands in three months

The new measures reflect the gravity of the situation and the request for heavier police presence as made by members of the public;many who are now grieving slaughtered loved-ones say the steps should have been made a lot sooner.

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Crime

TCI’s Murder No. 17, makes sixth death in 10 days

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – Residents are demanding answers about how to keep themselves and their children safe in the midst of gun violence that is happening closer and closer to homes, literally. In a harrowing escalation of violence about 4 pm Tuesday September 13, a man was shot on Millennium Highway near Grant’s Gas Station.

Magnetic Media began receiving reports of the shooting about 3:40 in the afternoon; a time when parents and school buses would have been along the roadway ferrying children from school and heading home from work, exposing them to possibly deadly harm.

To compound matters it occurred in Wheeland, the most populous community in The Turks and Caicos. And in the hours after the murder MM received continuous reports of gunfire in and around the area.

Wheeland MP, Kyle Knowles, advised his constituents to avoid the area completely, he said.

“We’ve recently been advised that an incident has occurred in the vicinity of the Grant’s Gas Station on the Millennium Highway. — Kindly note that access to the area is currently restricted for safety purposes and will be restored once the matter has been dealt with.”

The victim, a young man, said to be a Jamaican, was seemingly shot in the head multiple times by the side of the road late afternoon.

Traffic had to be diverted as Police officers cordoned off the bloody scene. It was no less graphic or heartbreaking the 17th time around.

Horrific photos of the murdered man were being circulated on social media; they showed the young man face down with two visible wounds to the back of the head, his back turned to whoever took him down.

The police report said:  Though reports remain limited at this time, preliminary information state  at 2.57 pm today (September 13th, 2022) , multiple calls were placed to the Police Control Room of gunshots in the vicinity of Grant’s Gas Station along the Millennium Highway.

Based on additional information received, a male body with gunshot wounds to the head was lying motionless close to the Station’s Store.

Acting on the information received, officers were dispatched to the location where they observed the lifeless body of a male with gunshot wounds to the head.

Additionally, the  RTCIPF has become aware that photographs from this  murder scene are being circulated via chat groups and social media platforms.

You are asked to desist from this immediately.

The perpetrators of these acts seem to have no regard for time, place or innocence and the police have failed to decisively show that they are able to keep the situation under control.

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Crime

Man gunned down near school is 27 year old TCI-Bahamian

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Team

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – There have been no arrests, no leads reports in the heinous killing of 27-year-old Ellington Been Jr, murdered early September 8, mere days after a double, double homicide in Providenciales.

Been was the fifth murder in under a week.

Residents reported hearing a series of shots fired in the down town area; others shared that the swarm of police near the Blue Hills round about early that morning was indication that something very serious had happened.

Later, we would learn of the murder of young Been; shot in the head and left in a pool of his own blood.

The killing came two days after Premier Washington Misick lamented the constant ‘execution style’ killings of our young men.

Our newsroom was told  has been told that this time the murder happened near the vicinity of a school. The victim, according to police, was found near Leisure Hotel which is close to Shining Stars Preparatory school in Providenciales.

During the early hours of yesterday morning, I visited the scene of the most recent murder on the Turks and Caicos Islands. A 27-year-old man, who has been identified as Ellington Been was shot dead outside his home on Academy Way Providenciales. It is believed that Mr. Been was killed by three men who shot him multiple times in a cowardly and savage manner. It is clear that high powered assault firearms were used in this attack. An attack that we believe is connected to the ongoing violence in Five Cays.

Having spoken with Mr. Been’s family at the scene, I witnessed firsthand the utter devastation, grief, anguish and turmoil that this violence is causing and the despair at losing another young man’s life in such a terrible way.

I believe this most recent murder is fueled by revenge and retribution, a cycle of killing that needs to stop before more families are left in life long grief.

To this end, I am appealing for calm and restraint from those involved; I am appealing to the friends and families of the young men involved to do all you can to persuade them to step back from these illegal activities that have led to violence; violence that will perpetuate more killing and heartache,” said Trevor Botting, Commissioner of Police.

The islands are on edge, unable to relax or mourn in peace as the violence ramps up instead of dying down.

Frustration and fear are constant companions residents have told Magnetic Media. Some have temporarily left their homes behind, electing to take their children and sleep with friends or relatives outside of the community. Others are desperate but have no place to go.

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