Tuesday, June 25, 2013

PM unveils plan for video conferencing for remand inmates

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Monday revealed that the cabinet has approved an investment of $3.2 million to retrofit twelve 40-foot pre-engineered, pre-fabricated buildings to improve prisoner safety and security at the Remand Prison at Golden Grove.

She was speaking at a political meeting in Bejucal, central Trinidad. She said the buildings would provide eight courtrooms that would have all the necessary facilities to facilitate video conferencing between the Remand Prison and the Magistrate’s Courts.

Funding for the project would come from the budget allocation of the Ministry of Justice and the National Insurance Property Development Company Limited (NIPDEC) – would be handling the project, she said.

The PM explained that the development is very important because it reduces the security risks involved in Prisoner Transport and cuts down on costs. It would also make the system more efficient and reduce the backlog of cases in the courts.

She noted that Prisoner Transport and other services provided to the Ministry of National Security from 2002 to 2009 cost the state more than $98 million, rising from a low of $6.4 million in 2002 to $23.4 million in 2009.

She also congratulated the police and other agencies that were involved in the Diesel smuggling bust over the weekend when they seized 20,000 gallons of fuel bought at the subsidized price for $1.50 per litre. 

"I am advised that this one shipment of 20,000 gallons of diesel is worth nearly $800,000 dollars on the black market," she said. 

"This is an on-going battle and we are deeply concerned that in the latest incident police reported that there was a deal to trade the diesel for guns. 

"So we are fighting this on two fronts … with you, the citizens, as the innocent, unaware victims and the gangsters who are exchanging diesel for guns to continue their criminal activity.

"Your tax dollars subsidize the fuel and these “pirates” are literally stealing and making huge profits … And they are also trading in weapons that present a clear and present danger to our citizens."

Persad-Bissessar said this illegal trade has been going on for years but the records show that it went out of control between 2005 and 2010. "What did the PNM do to stem this hemorrhaging of our country’s resource?" she asked. "Nothing!" she declared. 

Your Government has done more in the last the years than the PNM did in the previous five years they were in office. She spoke about crackdowns since her government took office.
  • a million-dollar fuel-bunkering racket in Claxton Bay
  • seizure of more than 400,000 litres of diesel, valued at $600,000
  • impounding of two fishing trawlers, with more than 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel
  • ending an illegal fuel operation in Matura on the East Coast

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai