By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, May 5, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos has created a new campaign to go after those who facilitate human trafficking in-country; ‘Operation Pursuit’ is the name of the new multi-agency framework that will work on land and at sea to reduce smuggling. The new undertaking was the result of an extraordinary meeting of the National Security Council, called out of concern over the increasing number of migrants heading to the Turks and Caicos in an attempt to breach its borders illegally.
Operation Pursuit will not only focus on interdictions at sea but dismantle land based operations that provide a haven for the irregular migrants in the country. The focus will be on undocumented migrants, business, and liquor license premises, construction sites, and road traffic offenders. In addition, strengthened intelligence gathering, surveillance and air surveillance is planned.
The National Security Council says this operation will locate, identify, and process persons involved in transnational and organised crime, and gather and share intelligence with local and international partners.
The migrants are arriving on both small fast boats under the cover of night and inconspicuous trade vessels abusing their legal right to enter the country. Desperation resulting from the continued decline of the humanitarian situation in Haiti, has pushed more migrants to the Turks and Caicos than police have recorded in years, over 1600 in the first four months of 2023.
The meeting was attended by top country officials including Anya Williams, Acting Governor, Washington Misick, TCI Premier, Rhondalee Braithwaite Knowles, Attorney General, and senior security leaders.
United States Tourist Guilty says TCI Police in Conviction Report
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – A 26-year-old male has been sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment having pleaded guilty to Possession of Ammunition.
Michael Allan Grim Jr. of Paoli Pike Floyds, Indiana was today (September 18th) sentenced. Mr. Grim was arrested on August 01st, 2023, and subsequently charged, after one black magazine, containing 20 rounds of 9mm ammunition was found in his luggage, whilst at the Providenciales International Airport.
During the investigation, Mr. Grim was interviewed by detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force and admitted the ammunition belonged to him.
Head of Crime, Safeguarding, and Public Protection Superintendent Dean Holden in a brief statement said: “The laws of the Turks and Caicos Islands regarding the possession of firearms and ammunition is very clear. The laws are clearly defined as to the requirements needed in obtaining permission for possession of firearms and ammunition when traveling to the TCI. The laws apply to everyone and will be enforced.”
Officers of the Serious Crime Unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force investigated the matter.
Murder No. 14 in Kew Town; No Identity, No Leads Police ask for HELP
#TurksandCaicos, September 11, 2023 – The Kew Town Community was the scene of the country’s latest recorded murder according to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police which rushed to the community on Saturday September 2nd after yet another shooting.
It was the country’s 14th confirmed homicide and came one week after a married couple was showered with bullets resulting in the death of the husband, Jevanio Williams.
In an update on the killing, police in a brief communication said the victim was shot multiple times.
Calls were placed to the Police Control Room and a team of detectives arrived at the given location in Walter Cox Drive, where they saw a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body lying motionless on the ground.”
The male victim, who has yet to be formally identified, was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical officials.
Detectives continued investigations over the weekend, to establish the events surrounding the murder. The victim is said to have been shot in the head; assassination style.
Police, in revealing some details of the attack also launched an appeal for information in the crime.
“We are seeking the assistance of the public in identifying the deceased male victim who was dressed in a red t-shirt, dark short pants, and dark trainers.
The victim is approximately 35-40 years old, of medium build, and is believed to be of Haitian descent.
The public is being asked to contact 911, the closest police station, or call TCI Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and give any information on this murder or any other illegal activity anonymously.”
During last year, the RTCIPF has been working on information gathering to classify which murders are related to gang activity. Sadly, this is another murder where there is no information regarding a motive or the identity of the victim, making categorization of the event near impossible.
Migrant Vessel Landing
#TurksandCaicos, September 2, 2023 – At approximately 10:10 pm on Tuesday, 29th August 2022, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Maritime Operations personnel onboard one of its maritime vessels contacted the 911 Police Control room and reported that they were in pursuit of what appeared to be a large wooden illegal vessel (sloop) carrying an estimated 200 people, making its way to the general area of North West Point, Providenciales.
The sloop failed to comply with instructions given by the Police and continued to make its way to shallow waters. The Police vessel was unable to get any closer in such shallow water. The migrant vessel ran aground, and its passengers began jumping into the water and ran to the shore.
It is believed the migrants landed somewhere between the Chrystal Bay and Malcolm Bay areas. Officers from the Maritime Operations immediately commenced rescue efforts in the surrounding waters, and one male and a small child were safely removed from the vessel. It is believed all the remaining migrants made it to land.
The time of the incident prohibited the responding agencies from conducting further searches however, coordinated search efforts led by the RTCIPF and supported by other agencies, resumed on Wednesday, 30th August with various resources deployed at strategic areas in an effort to locate and detain as many irregular migrants as possible.
This remains an ongoing multi-agency operation.
Thus far, a number of illegal migrants, including children have been located and detained.
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