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Crime

33 Murders; 7 NEW homicides in the past 8 days

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By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 4, 2022 – Three weeks of relative quiet in the Turks and Caicos was on Wednesday October 26 shattered by another double shooting, which left one man murdered. Since then, at least six more shooting incidents across mainly Providenciales, with one unconfirmed report out of Grand Turk and a most shocking slaughter of nearly an entire family has sent shock and awe to fever pitch.

For the Turks and Caicos Islands, these are unprecedented times.

No identities have been released on those shot but residents know who they are and are talking, a lot taking mainly to social media to express their disappointment in policing and their abhorrence of the crimes.

Police have also not characterized the shootings but videos of the various scenes are painful to watch.

In the October 26 homicide, one young man is bloody and lifeless. Residents are heard desperately trying to keep the other young man alive repeatedly asking him not to close his eyes. This man, we understand was recovering at hospital.

It’s a terrible throwback to the events of which erupted in early September and a chilling reminder that all is not well in The Turks and Caicos Islands.

It seems this incident resuscitated a feud at a time when it appears Operation Anaconda is disbanded as there is no longer any sight of the 24 Royal Bahamas Police Force members on the streets. There is also no mention of the special combined force by the TCI Police Commissioner.

Here are the reports, as they were shared by the Royal TCI Police with initial information on the bloodshed.

Around 6:05 pm Wednesday (October 26) police received multiple calls that gunshots were being heard in the vicinity of the James Stubbs building along Leeward Highway. After that more calls were placed reporting a bleeding man near Monica’s Bar when police arrived there were two men down.

The report issued the night of the attack confirmed civilian accounts that the first victim was alive and conscious with a gunshot wound to the left side of his body when they arrived, while the second victim was already lifeless.

Magnetic Media was also informed that there were three struck in the bullets; this was however never confirmed by TCI Police.

On Saturday October 29, this was the report: “The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force officers are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding a shooting incident at Dock Yard, which resulted in a man being seriously injured.

Reports state a call was placed to the Police Control Room during the early hours of this morning (Saturday 29th October) , stating a male victim with a gunshot wound was seeking medical attention.”

By Sunday, there was another shooting and it seems this one was a case of mistaken identity. Two were in a vehicle travelling into the Millennium Heights subdivision, when two women miraculously survived an onslaught by two masked, dark clad men.

Police said: “The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force officers are investigating the shooting of a female.

Reports state that around 7.13 pm today (Sunday 30th October), a call was placed to the Police Control Room, indicating a female driver and her friend were travelling towards Millennium Heights Phase 2 , Blue Hills, when the female driver was stopped by another vehicle, whose occupant started shooting in her direction.

The passenger received a gunshot wound to her left shoulder.”

Not even 24-hours later, a new murder was to be recorded.

“The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force officers are currently investigating a murder.

Initial reports state a call was placed to the Police Control Room around 8.56 am today (Monday 31st October), alerting that a male victim was laying motionless on the ground, in the vicinity of Parker’s Yard, Wheeland, Blue Hills.

Officers were dispatched to the scene and upon arrival found a man with a gunshot wound.”

That night, the most horrendous attack would be recorded. An entire family, including two children and one unborn, not spared the wrath of a ruthless gun attack.

From Police, after a number of deeply concerning missteps in the Dock Yard case, there came this update: “At around 6.57 am today (November 01st) the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force received information from its Police Control Room, that two adults – male and female, along with two children were bleeding heavily from gunshot wounds in a parked vehicle in Dock Yard.

RTCIPF officers arrived at the given location and found the lifeless bodies of the adults and a male child aged three. Another female child aged seven, who was also in the vehicle, was alive and taken for medical attention for injuries received.

Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting in expressing condolences to the families of the deceased said: “The murder of the two adults and the child is shocking and the circumstances of what happened are now part of an active investigation. Such a vicious, barbaric act has no place in our communities and I condemn those involved. The criminals involved are in the minority and we need to all work together to bring them to justice; these criminals are heartless; they do not care about life.

“The RTCIPF remains focused and determined to bring the perpetrators to justice and we are being supported by colleagues from the UK, Bahamas, and the United States as we conduct robust and thorough investigations into recent violence on the Islands.

“Operations will continue to track down those criminals causing most harm to our communities and they should be prepared to spend most of their life in prison when they are caught.”

Many expressed being exasperated by the police statements and more so the incessant crime.  A shooting report by civilians found its way out of Grand Turk, this time, no police corroboration.

And as the Turks and Caicos continued to grapple with the monstrosity of the homicides of the young family on Halloween night, there came yet another killing.

“The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force officers are investigating a shooting incident which resulted in one man being killed.

Initial reports state at around 4.32 pm today (November 03rd), the Police Control Room received a call that gunshots were heard in the yard of a resident in Blue Hills.

When the RTCIPF officers arrived at the given location, a male victim was slumped over a chair, bleeding from what appeared to be a gunshot wound.

The victim was later pronounced dead by a medical official.”

The murderous rampage of August, which reached uncommon heights in September and October is now spilling into November. In all of the murders, only one person has been charged and that is in the case of Justin Cox-Beckles, killed when an argument escalated in a Blue Hills lounge. This incident was not counted among the gang-fuelled violence of the past three months.

According to Magnetic Media records, the murder count now stands at 33 for 2022 in the Turks and Caicos Islands; a dismal and dismaying record.

Caribbean News

Trial date set for case involving former BVI premier

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#BVI, November 25, 2022 – The trial date for Former Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Andrew Fahie, and his co-accused former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director, Oleanvine Maynard and her son Kadeem, is set for January 9, 2023, in Miami, Florida.

The case will be heard within a two-week trial period.

Fahie, senior BVI port official, Oleanvine Maynard and her son, Kadeem Maynard were allegedly involved in money laundering and intent to import more than 5kg (11lb) of cocaine to the US through the BVI. The most recent charge is that of Interstate and Foreign Travel in Aid of Racketeering.

Charges filed in the US said Fahie had agreed a total of $700,000 payment to allow traffickers to use BVI ports with an undercover informant.

The three were all arrested by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials in Florida, who disguised themselves as cocaine traffickers from Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel – the largest supplier of illegal drugs to the US market.

Currently, Fahie is out on bail at US$1 million.

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Crime

Over a Hundred arrested in £48 Million dollar scam in UK

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, November 25, 2022 – More than a hundred people have been arrested in a phone scam that duped more than 70,000 UK citizens out of at least £48 million.

The announcement was made by the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday after its biggest ever fraud operation.  The Met says it took down the website iSpoof which it is describing as  ‘an international one stop spoofing shop’.

Any criminal after paying via bitcoin, could use the website to ‘iSpoof’ or pretend to be someone else to steal data or money.  iSpoof worked by disguising their phone numbers so they seemed trustworthy.  After paying, criminals made millions of calls trying to trick residents into giving away one time bank passcodes or outright sending them money.  Fraudsters logged on and pretended to be representatives of major banks across the United Kingdom including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide and tax officers and other official offices.

“Almost 20 people every minute of the day were being contacted by scammers hiding behind false identities using the site,” at one point the Met said.

The site which was created in December 2020 came under investigation in June 2021.

iSpoof had over 59,000 user accounts and fraudsters were logging in  from the UK, The Netherlands, France, Ireland and several other areas.  Police say they are focusing on the UK violators that spent over £100 of Bitcoin to use the site first.

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, of the Cyber Crime Unit said, “Our message to criminals who have used this website is we have your details and are working hard to locate you, regardless of where you are.”

The suspected organiser of the website has also been caught.

The initial 70,000 victims were to be contacted on Thursday but the police said as many as 200,000 victims were targeted in England alone.  The site was finally busted in an operation that involved the UK’s National Crime Agency, Europol, Eurojust, the Dutch authorities and the FBI.

The Met said losses could be far higher than the initial £48 million figure because fraud is vastly underreported.

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Crime

Police will continue Anti-Gang Operations, Governor says Rahming threatened officers with Lethal Force

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2022 – ‘Anti-Gang Policing Operations will continue’ was the decisive first line in Governor Nigel Dakin’s statement obtained by Magnetic Media on Thursday after the death of “gang leader” Brandon Rahming; answering one of the main questions of islanders who are hoping to see peace restored to the streets of Providenciales.

Dakin, who heads National Security for the Turks and Caicos Islands maintained that the death of suspects is not ever an outcome police seek out, but as law enforcers, he maintained members will not hesitate “If the Police Officer fears for his life, or another’s life.”

The Governor said Rahming threatened the police with lethal force.

“In a pre-planned policing operation, he is reported to have chosen to confront and threaten, with lethal force, the Police and was shot dead. An associate sensibly chose instead to surrender, and is in Police custody.”

He assured residents that the significant policing operations will continue across the islands.

“This is by no means the end to the Policing Operations you have witnessed in the last month Rahming’s death does not mean we can relax. The Police are on the front foot and intend to stay there. Our continued development of the Forces anti-gang capability therefore continues. The Bahamas contingent will remain with us while newly recruited specialist firearms officers are embedded in the RTCIPF.”

Police also expect to be able to give some families closure as the two weapons recovered from the scene will be forensically examined and should help resolve some of the murders for which Rahming may have been responsible.

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