The Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) presented a draft diversification roadmap to the ministers and permanent secretaries in attendance at a meeting last week.
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Six officers get collective bail of $4.5 million
After spending four nights and three days in jail, six police officers were granted a total of $4.5 million bail today after appearing before the Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar.
The officers: Steve Williams,35, of Heights of Guanapo Road, Arima; Brandon Thompson, 25, of Seeyjagat Trace, Tumpuna Road, Arima; Ronald Samuel, 32 of Duncan Trace, San Juan: Kevon Patrick, 30, of Kingdom Avenue Bypasss Road, Arima: Ryan Granderson, 27, of Tunip Lane, La Horquetta and Dion Ottley, 31, of Bon Air Gardens, Arouca are charged with a combined 42 offences.
The men are alleged to have misbehaved in office by either armed robbery and false imprisonment as well as attempting to pervert the course of justice. After granting the men bail Ayers-Caesar adjourned the matter to February 15.
Before granting bail the prosecution changed its stance, and officers representing the prosecution. Court prosecutor Insp Winston Dillon on the last date objected to bail citing the amended Bail Act as the reason. Today Inp Richard Taylor and Cpl Keston Abraham, both legal officers, appeared for the prosecution with Taylor indicating that they were not going to object to bail but asked that conditions be attached to the officers’ bail bonds.
Each officer was then granted bail and ordered to report to a police station nearest them every Monday and Thursday between 6 am and 6 pm and that they surrender their passport. Ottley was granted $650,000 and has to report to the Arouca Police Station; Grandison had the lowest bail of $500,000 and has to report to the La Horquetta Police Station. Williams was granted the highest bail of $950,000 and ordered to report to the Arima Police Station while Thompson, Patrick and Samuel were each granted $800,000 and ordered to report to the Arima, San Juan Police Stations respectively.
Williams, Thompson, Samuel and Patrick allegedly misbehaved in office by threatening to falsely charge Mary Duncan, Peabo Duncan and Kimberly James for possession of cocaine. The officers are also alleged to have falsely imprisoned and held against their will the trio and Stephan Waldron as well as allegedly robbing Peabo Duncan of $53,000 and $4,200 worth of jewelery. The offences allegedly took place on January 5 at Kelly Village, Caroni.
Williams, Grandison and Ottley are charged with threatening to falsely charge Mark Rampersad, Farial Ramharrack and Lalieeta Ramdawan for possession of cocaine, marijuana and a gun. The officers were also charged with robbing Rampersad of $125,000 and $55,000 worth of jewellery. All offences took place on December 12, 2015 at Frederick Settlement, Caroni.
Ottley faced two separate charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice in that he, on December 13, 2015, made a false entry into the station diary at the NEDTF office at Santa Cruz which stated that he and another officer found and seized six rounds of .38 ammunition which was found in a red face towel in a camouflage pants and they also seized 13 packets of cocaine.
The alleged find was made on December 12 according to the station diary entry. The other charge is that he, on December 12, 2015, was ordered to take six round of ammunition to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, but failed to do so and could give no reasonable explanation why.