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Crime

TCI Governor believes out of control gun violence needs these 8 things  

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 16, 2022 – A day after two double homicides rocked the nation key members of the National Security Council have announced that they are planning eight ‘immediate actions’ with local and international partners to stifle the upsurge in violent crimes in the TCI.

Governor Nigel Dakin made the announcement in a press conference on September 5; days after four people were gunned down in two double homicides in the fishing village of Five Cays.

Dakin said the eight actions were “to bring in strategic support to our overall enforcement posture.”

The immediate actions announced at the press conference on Monday September 5 are as follows.

  1. A firm swift response.  The Governor said, “Lest there be any doubt whatsoever there is only going to be one outcome to the immediate problem we face it is going to be dealt with firmly.”
  2. The Tactical Unit will make arrests based on a list of individuals responsible for the ‘mayhem’ in the Five Cays over the weekend.  The governor cautioned suspects, warning them to cooperate with the police rather than resist.  He especially warned them not to try using force, as in order to protect themselves and other law abiding citizens police officers were authorized to respond with lethal force.
  3. More police presence in Five Cays.
  4. Immediate aerial support via a helicopter team from the Cayman Islands to augment the police force.
  5. A UK backed unit focused on Gun, Gangs and Drugs Unit’.  Dakin maintained that this unit was progressing quickly Anna already had confirmation from the UK.  It will be bolstered by foreign officers with expertise but would be led by locals. That specialist expertise includes: Leadership, Investigative, Technical, Intelligence and Analytical Skill.  Those skills He said would be passed on to the local officers over time.
  6. A new surveillance aircraft from the United Kingdom
  7. New legislation allowing the government interception and tracking of gangs
  8. Assistance from the United Kingdom in closing cases.

Dakin also had a stern warning for criminals and an impassioned one for the loved ones who are witnesses to the criminal acts of their sons and brothers.

“Those who are intimidating a whole community are small in number; they can think no further than their ego, reputation or their wallet. While they seemingly live in the moment—- all that will eventually happen and faster than many can imagine is that they will die at the hands of a rival or be imprisoned. It is not a question of if but when one of these two outcomes occur.” He said.

When the police eventually came he had some advice for the individuals ‘responsible for the mayhem.’

He stressed that the police would be coming for them one way or another and in order to avoid the worst possible outcome they should do this, “If this is you I strongly suggest that when the tactical unit confronts you you immediately lay down with your arms outstretched. Showing beyond any doubt that you are not armed, if a police officer fears for his or another’s life the rules of engagement are very clear and unfortunately very final.”

Despite the warning, to date no arrests have been made in regards to the killings even after several forays into the area and exchanges of gunfire with criminals.

To the families of gunmen Dakin said, “If someone you love risks being on the fringes of this activity, say something very clearly to them, which is ‘If you continue on this road you’re going to be drawn into a world where you either die or go to prison’.

He cautioned them to do the right thing to save the lives of their sons before it was too late.

Crime

Too Many Unknowns, Scandalous Rumors emerge about Murder-Accused Brandon Rahming relationships

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 2, 20222 – Just over a week now since the death of suspected murderer Brandon Rahming  and social media chatter is raging; accusations, speculations, voice notes, photographs and undeniable discontent despite the country’s most notorious suspect now being himself, dead.

Magnetic Media has been privy to strings of communication which are unsubstantiated, but which point to the ongoing apprehension and legitimate musings about the light which could have been potentially shed if Rahming had been taken alive.

The alleged gang leader had been fingered by police for his involvement in drugs, arms and several murders.  It’s very likely that Rahming had significant information on who may have  been funding him, who was providing drugs and how they were entering the TCI.

With the gang leader dead, a wealth of information that could have validated the Governor-announced ‘transnational gang activity’ and likely put a real monkey-wrench into the nefarious activity in the TCI is lost.

Meanwhile, Police announced a man was charged in the Dock Yard arrest and take down of Brandon Rahming.  It said: “A Dock Yard man has been remanded into custody, after he appeared before a Magistrate yesterday (November 30th).

Guilene Jean-Baptiste, 25, is charged with the following offences:

(1) Possession of Controlled Drugs namely Cannabis
(2) Possession of Controlled Drugs namely Cocaine
(3) Possession of Controlled Drugs namely Methamphetamine
(4) Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply namely Cannabis
(5) Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply namely Cocaine
(6) Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply namely Methamphetamine

Jean-Baptiste was arrested on November 19th, 2022, following a joint operation by police officers.

He is scheduled to re-appear in Court on December 19th, 2022.”

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Crime

Letter Bomber Hunt on in Spain

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

#Spain, December 2, 2022 – Police in Spain are desperately trying to find the culprit or culprits behind a series of letter bombs that have targeted high profile government officials and embassies since the start of the week.

So far the bombs which have arrived in inconspicuous cardboard boxes with handwritten addresses targeted six places: the Spanish Prime Minister’s office; US Embassy; Ukrainian Embassy; Spanish Defense Ministry; a weapons maker;  and a Spanish Air Base.

At least one individual from the Ukrainian embassy was hurt when the bomb targeting it went off.

All of the areas targeted have some connection to the EU or to the war in Ukraine.   A European newspaper Euractiv quoted the Ukrainian ambassador as saying that the package came with a box inside.  Suspicious, a security guard opened the package, pulled out the box, opened it, heard a click and tossed it.  Despite tossing it before it exploded he still received a concussion and hand injuries.

Police say they believe someone in Spain sent the packages and that they were all connected.

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Crime

Study reveals Online Sexual Exploitation of Children rose in Pandemic; Philippines among the worst

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

A recent study from UNICEF and investigation by the BBC have revealed horrific levels of child abuse in the Philippines fueled by pandemic lockdowns and increasing poverty. The study  revealed that country has become a den for Online sexual exploitation and abuse of children (OSEAC) in which adults sometimes even parents force children to perform sexual acts on camera for paying pedophiles on the internet.

A key finding of the study was that certain cultural beliefs contribute to the spread of OSAEC such as ‘if the children are untouched, they are not harmed’ and ‘OSAEC provides easy money and almost everyone does it.’

The BBC’s Laura Bicker visited Preda, an orphanage in the country that specifically helps abused children. Located in the orphanage is a dark padded room outfitted with an on hand therapist. Bicker described what she saw and heard.

“Some of the toughest healing at Preda happens inside a dark room with soft music playing in the background. There are large pads on the walls and floors – the kind gymnasts would use for a soft landing. The only light comes from the open door. About five children are kneeling, each in their own space.  Most of them are facing the wall. The overwhelming sound is the erratic thud of their fists and feet as they pummel the pads. The first raw, anguished cries make your heart stop. And then it starts again, but it’s difficult to keep listening, even from a distance, even for a few minutes. The questions hurled at the cushioned walls – “Why did you do this to me? Why me? What did I do?”

The situation is becoming increasingly dire.

Only around 20 per cent of Filipino children are listed by UNICEF as not vulnerable to online sexual exploitation and the pandemic has made it worse. UNICEF says a good grasp of the English Language, availability and ease of access to technology, well-established financial transaction facilities, and ‘absence of perceived conflict between sexual exploitation and significant social norms are some of the reasons the gruesome industry is allowed to thrive and expand.

While instances of online abuse may not be as prevalent in the Caribbean instances of sexual abuse are still high.  A recent study revealed that nearly 15 per cent of children aged 11–12 years and, 35 per cent of young people, 14–15 years old reported having had sexual experiences. Since the onset of the pandemic in 2019 those numbers have spiked.

In  Jamaica alone pediatricians said cases abuse rose 70 per cent during the pandemic but cases reported to the police dropped significantly indicating extreme underreporting.

Sexual crimes are some of the most underreported crimes in the world for various reasons including fear, coercion and shame. Protection of children from sexual abuse in all its forms must then become a community effort with adults taking on the responsibility of investigating and speaking up on behalf of children who may not be able to do so on their own.

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