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Desperate mother takes RISK; charged HUGE FINE $12,000 for smuggling Child to TCI



Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter


Today, the woman is released as she awaits an appeal’s court hearing later this year.  Her son, in custody of Immigration Department, may have already been deported despite gut wrenching outcry by the mother who says he has no one in the embattled Republic to take care of him.

This case, stems back to December of last year.

The matter is one of a desperate mother who risked her child’s life and paid for his illegal passage to Providenciales, but was caught.  She was fined $12,000 or nine months imprisonment for Assisting an Illegal Entry.

The woman was caught just before Christmas, on  December 22nd, 2022; hit with a serious charge for facilitating and making arrangements for him to travel along with an adult male to the Turks and Caicos Islands(TCI), on an illegal Haitian sloop.

The Hon Chief Magistrate (CM) Mr. Jolyon Hatmin was so appalled with the mother as he described the audacity of this mother taking such serious chance through the black seas, wide open dangerous ocean putting her 15-year old son’s life at risk on a deadly voyage that could have resulted in her never seeing or hearing from her child ever again.

VIVIANE FRANCOIS, 42 is a mother of two boys, she explained.  The oldest born in Haiti and the youngest born here in the TCI.

On August 22nd, 2023, the factual evidence that was told the CM in court was that the boy’s father was moving to another country out of Haiti and he could not carry the boy with him.  He told this to the accused mother who said, she had no choice but to try get him here.  She said, through her attorney Jamal Missick, that the father didn’t give her much notice and she spent $1,500.00 and made the necessary arrangements to try get her son to the Turks and Caicos on an illegal Haitian sloop heading to the TCI.  The boat made land fall successfully in the Northwest Point/Blue Hills area and the mother and her now husband, a Haitian man and the father of her youngest son travelled from Five Cays to pick up her son after receiving a call from the adult male that they arrived safely.

They collected the son but on their way home was stopped by the authorities, as a result the mother alone was arrested and charged with Assisting Illegal entry.  The CM told the mother who had pleaded guilty months before her sentencing, that “on your own admission this country provided a safe haven for you from abuse in Haiti, you are here on a work permit, have lived here for years.  You know quite well the economic strain illegal migration have on this country, you still knowingly facilitated in illegal entry into the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

The sentence of this court is a fine of $12,000 to be paid in 21 days or serve nine months at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR).

The CM explained to Francois that she had five days to appeal his decision if unsatisfied and he recommended deportation after the date of the payment for the fine has expired or the completion of her prison sentence.

Appearing for the office of the DPP in this matter was Ms. Enjaleek Dickenson.

Caribbean News

USA Caribbean Investment Forum: Partnering for Sustained Development in the Caribbean 2023 Event Recap



The USA Caribbean Investment Forum took place over two days last week at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square. The event, hosted by the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) in partnership with representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps (namely, the Consulates General of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda), brought together government officials, investment promotion agencies, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from the Caribbean diaspora to connect, engage in thoughtful discussions, and explore investment opportunities throughout the Caribbean.

Fostering International Collaboration

The event featured distinguished speakers and representatives from both the US and Caribbean governments. Consuls General Mr. Mackie Holder (Barbados), Mr. Jerome Andre Laveau (Trinidad & Tobago), and Mr. Rondy McIntosh (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) along with Jeanette Moy, Commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services, Edward Mermelstein, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs, and Molly Bauer, Industry Development Associate from the NY Governor’s Office, shed light on the initiatives that New York City, which is home to so many Caribbean Diaspora, is implementing to support economic collaboration between the regions.

Engaging with Global Leaders

Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism & Ports, Cayman Islands, and Chair of Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Turks and Caicos Islands delivered insights via keynote speeches and held candid discussions during panel and Q&A sessions. The event served as a unique opportunity to communicate in an open and honest forum with two esteemed leaders from the Caribbean about investing in the region.

Promoting Investment Opportunities

CAIPA welcomed representatives from Invest Barbados, Invest Dominica, Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC), InvesTT (Trinidad and Tobago), Invest Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA), Invest St. Lucia, Invest St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), and the Sint Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Transport and Telecommunications, to discuss various opportunities for investment in their respective countries and how their agencies support and facilitate potential investors.

Hearing Private Sector Success Stories

Private sector companies including the St. James School of Medicine, Century21 Guyana, Ethniv, and Homestrings joined the forum to discuss their current active projects in the Caribbean.  They detailed how they’ve worked with local governments and institutions to successfully launch and operate their businesses in the Caribbean, along with the potential opportunities for continued growth.

Understanding How Caribbean Financial Institutions Facilitate Investment

The Forum brought together key representatives from Caribbean financial and economic development institutions: IDB Lab (Ms. Magdalena Coronel, Chief Investment Officer), the National Commercial Bank Jamaica LTD (Mr. Jeffrey Brown, Head, Loans Structuring and Syndications), USAID (Mr. Mervyn Farroe, USAID representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean), and the Caribbean Development Bank (Ms. Lisa Harding, Private Sector Development Specialist) to detail how these organizations facilitate and support private investment in the Caribbean.

Forging Connections

Attendees had the opportunity to meet directly with CAIPA member countries during business meetings.  These one-on-one conversations were valuable opportunities to speak directly with key stakeholders in order to advance projects and forge direct relationships.

The inaugural USA Caribbean Investment Forum was a great success due to the collaboration and engagement from individuals representing a wide range of sectors, organizations, and countries – all united under the goal of driving economic growth in the Caribbean and taking advantage of the enormous opportunities available in the region.  CAIPA and the representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps are proud to have facilitated these conversations and supported deepening of relationships with key stakeholders throughout the US and the Caribbean.  We look forward to our next event, which will be held on 6-8 March in Miami (Caribbean Logistics Investment Conference 2024) – focused on attracting investments into logistics and transportation by sea and air as well as e-commerce logistics and industrial logistics parks throughout the Caribbean.  Stay tuned for more details!If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the CAIPA mailing list, please visit: to sign up for our newsletter.

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Babies exposed to Fentanyl at daycare, one dead and Mayor expresses outrage



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#USA, September 26, 2023 – A New York woman was arrested for murder following the death of a 1-year-old boy at her daycare centre which authorities say was also being used to store illicit drugs.  Grei Mendez was charged with one of her tenants, a male, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, over the shocking incident.

One-year-old Nicholas Dominici died of a suspected fentanyl overdose after being exposed to the drug in the daycare.  In an update from the NYPD via Facebook live, we learned a kilo of fentanyl had been sitting in the same place where the children napped; three other babies reportedly had to be revived with a fentanyl antidote Narcan.

They were all two years old or younger.

Eric Adams, New York City Mayor, was enraged by the incident.  He described it as ‘total madness.’

“Less than the size of a fingernail can kill an adult, so imagine what it would do to a child, you are irresponsible as an adult if you have this inside your home,” he said, “this is probably one of the worst days I’ve had walking into the Bronx– sitting down with those parents– what do you even say?”

Joe Kenny, Chief Detective on the case, revealed that around 2:41 on September 15, they responded to calls of three unconscious children at the licensed daycare centre.  Emergency Medical personnel quickly recognized the symptoms and administered the antidote, saving two lives.  Only two hours earlier, a mother had picked up the fourth child, who began to exhibit symptoms at home.  He was administered Narcan as well.

All the children had fentanyl in their systems.

The accused are facing charges of murder, attempted murder and depraved indifference.

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TWO SEXUAL Assault Cases begin in Providenciales Supreme Court



Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 – On Monday 25th September 2023 in the Providenciales Supreme Court before her Ladyship Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson and a seven member Jury to be empaneled, there are TWO sexual assault/rape cases are listed to commence.

TRIAL 1: NICHOLL PRUDHOMME allegation date is on January 17th, 2022. The defendant is represented by Ms. Sheena Mair, who is also on bail.

The reported virtual complainant in this case is an adult in her 20’s.

TRIAL 2: DARROL FORBES allegations totaling six counts linked to alleged sexual abuse of one of his underage daughters.

The incidents, for which Forbes is being tried, range in dates from June 1st to August 31st  in 2020.

Forbes is represented by Keith James and is on bail.

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