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The downward spiral of violent crime, is TCI at a breaking point?



#TurksandCaicos, September 17, 2023 – Despite a concerted effort by our local law enforcement departments to control violent crimes, it appears to be a game of cat and mouse with head games, tough pursuits, and evasive captures of these criminals.
With the rising trend of serious crimes being at the heart of most Turks Islanders, concerned citizens are wondering where does it end? There’s a level of violence none like the country has ever seen, particularly on the island of Providenciales.
One has to wonder when will we get it under control? How many times will the country have to bolster the police department with foreign task forces as a crime prevention solution?
By no means should we downplay the short term effectiveness of this strategy, but it is still fractured in a sense and in more ways than one lacks continuity. It’s time to invest more in our own police officers; develop and promote the cream of the crop through real succession planning and raise the bar for under performers.
Furthermore, any short-term interventions must be combined with medium and long-term initiatives to enhance our national security.
Taking a holistic approach in tackling crime has been talked about, but is it really happening? More than ever before, online activities are driving real-world behavior, and activities on social media are increasingly leaking into real life, which is being played out among young men.
With that being said,  who is monitoring social media in real time, trolling for suspicious gang related activities? We have to be in a better position to disrupt and dismantle these violent groups to avoid their grip becoming so tight that it creates a greater threat to tourism and the communities at large.
Over the years, the socioeconomic needs and public safety concerns in Kew Town and Dock Yard communities, have been largely ignored by successive governments and now it’s at a boiling point.
So, how do we fill these voids with real solutions? We the people, call on our representatives and officials to push for more creation of programs for our youth, improve job opportunities and invest more in these communities overall needs.
We have to find more effective ways to remove the barriers and plant safe spaces in underserved communities where violence is perpetuated. With ramping gun violence, you’re not just taking that person, you’re destroying a whole family and that’s what our people need to come to terms with.
Who are these victims and who are these perpetrators? Have we taken the time to understand their lives, parental support and economic situations? How do we mediate conflicts before they turn violent? We have to find ways to extract high-risk youth from the cycles of violence in their own neighborhoods.
The country need more resources to help make the much-needed work of violence prevention more sustainable? Are the local churches doing enough and do we have a think tank committee to brainstorm and share objective ideas?
These are real questions that need answers too. Sometimes, community leaders can maneuver and navigate in a way that law enforcement cannot.
The country’s internal security plan may be good, but at the end of the day, the back door is being left open with access to importation of illegal weapons which is counterproductive.
This is pretty evident with the number of ammunition and weapons being discovered at the Howard Hamilton airport in recent months. Another contributing factor could also include undetected migrant vessels that are making it to our shores.
Granted, we do not have the capacity for luggage checks on incoming international flights, but why not use sniffing dogs? On another front, the fact of the matter is, we have yet to see a dedicated maritime branch on the ground or a vessel stationed between the islands of Grand Turk, Great Sand Cay and Salt Cay to patrol the waters and enhance detection of illegal activity.
Our political leaders have talked about it, but when it comes to action, we see nothing tangible.
It goes to show how constant innovation and attentiveness is a must, in order to support our dedicated law enforcement officers.
There is no time like now to get gun trafficking under control. Where there are no illegal guns, there will be limited gun related deaths. In addition, it’s a stark reminder of the length and breadth armed gang members will go to take revenge without regard for innocent bystanders.
Our country must take a look at violence through different lenses and treat it as a public health crisis.
This will require developing the necessary tools, methods, medical staff and resources to deal with the situations. I.e. establishing a trauma center and so forth.
Not only do we have to be proactive, but we must double our efforts and deal with the current challenges head on, because we are already in the midst of it all.
It will have to start with creating
well-targeted programs, clear diagnosis of our at risk youth and our young men involved in these violent crimes. This has to be complemented with the appropriate treatment plan that involves the family and community.
Challenges like this cannot be resolved by any single leader or by law enforcement alone. It will take the right tools and people coming together to create a movement that cannot be ignored.
Communities will need to remain vigilant and law enforcement agencies must remain mission-focused with results-driven leadership. Only then, will the country be in a much better position to reduce crimes and save more lives.
Ed Forbes 

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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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