By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, November 21, 2022 – A disturbing trend of deadly threats recklessly endangering innocent residents emerged again this weekend both over social media and in person highlighting behaviour that can only be described as unhinged.
“…there was an incident here where four people have received gunshot wounds. What we believe happened at this stage, is the car has come to the premises, the car wash adjacent to the building behind me and attacked a number of people resulting in the four people being injured,” said Trevor Botting, TCI Police Commissioner in a report from the active investigation scene, also on Saturday November 19.
The Commissioner was earnestly trying to allay fears that the shooting happened at the sporting facility where two inter-high school tournaments were underway. In fact, dozens of schoolchildren from several softball and basketball teams were uncomfortably close to the line of fire when what was supposed to be a fun competition turned into a scene of pure panic.
The Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex was filled with basketballers and parents on the inside and softballers and more supportive fans on the outside. Despite the scene being chock full of children just metres away, gunmen, at a nearby business on Airport Road, opened fire in a careless barrage which injured three adults and killed another.
“At the time of this incident, there was a sports event for young people taking place. The incident was somewhat spilled into, because two of the injured people ran into the sports center which caused some panic. I just want to reassure the public, that there were police officers on duty at the sports event who quickly got control of the scene and understood what was going on. To be clear, there was no incident at the sports center. Some injured people ran to it, to get away from the persons that were attacking them,” explained Botting in his video.
The games were abruptly ended, out of the abundance of caution said Botting.
It not only exposed the students in the area to what could have been lethal force but exposed some of them to what must have been a highly traumatic scene as armed police swarmed the scene and both men were wheeled away bleeding heavily.
“Supervised by police officers, parents came to pick up their children… I understand it would have caused some panic, I get that they would have heard the gunshots from the location of the shooting but I am grateful to the staff who were managing the event and to the officers, who were at the center who brought calm and safety to the people involved.”
This is the second incident in as many weeks that has occurred at the gym the first saw one teen stab another sending him to the hospital. Among the differences between the two incidents were the security protocols that were quickly implemented this time, locking down those on the inside of the basketball court. Unfortunately the students on the softball field were left exposed and our reports indicate shots were heard uncomfortably close to the bleachers.
The shooting occurred less than 24-hours before the world celebrated World Children’s Day.
The constant murders have once again made international headlines with Fox News reporting that murders are surging just before the winter tourist season begins in earnest describing it as shocking.
A frightful headline for the islands which are so heavily reliant upon tourism.
Meanwhile, over on social media murder threats continued to be hurled at residents who responded to the wanted posters in three languages offering a ten thousand dollar reward for information regarding suspected murderer Brandon Rahming; even an advocate attorney was not spared a bone-chilling threat.
Shocking was the silence by TCI Police on the death threats which were made on their Facebook page. However, the comments from the user, Brandon Lee seemed to have been scrubbed from the posts.
On Friday, Magnetic Media reported that the threats were coming from a Facebook user with the profile name Brandon Lee. Hours later a user with the profile name “Real Shotta Certified” continued the threats this time even more pointed, promising not only murder but a slew of killers.
[SIC] “I’m screenshotting ya name and will ask about you. I think you wanna die. If Brandon goes killers will turn up more watch . It’s like 20 men ready to die ready for war if Brandon goes.”
The user who did not have a profile picture attached told one resident.
The user continued even threatening law enforcement, [SIC] “If Brandon go, watch how many killers pop up in support of him. Lol one of us can handle 10 police by self so figure it out” they said.
So far, despite the $10,000 reward, police have not managed to find the man they describe as a “gang leader”.
Trial date set for case involving former BVI premier
By Shanieka Smith
#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.
Over a Hundred arrested in £48 Million dollar scam in UK
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
Police will continue Anti-Gang Operations, Governor says Rahming threatened officers with Lethal Force
By Dana Malcolm
#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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