Daily Brief - Friday 17th March, 2023


Cops prepared to tackle corruption in illegal quarrying

Police from the Multi Agency Task Force say they are prepared to aggressively tackle cases of illegal quarrying and have partnered with other units to root out corrupt elements from state agencies. Earlier this year, head of the Northern Division Snr Supt Kerwin Francis revealed that officials from state agencies were either willingly involved or forcibly coerced into facilitating illegal quarrying either through fraudulent paperwork or other means. Responding to those concerns, ASP Leon Haynes of the Multi Agency Task Force, at a police media briefing on Thursday, said he was aware of claims of corruption from state agencies, noting that his unit worked closely with other investigative arms to treat with those elements. Read more here



IMF calls for removal of forex restrictions

A staff mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday said it again “encourages” the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank to remove all restrictions on current international transactions as a means of creating a more investment-friendly business environment that would drive the diversification of the T&T economy. The advice of the IMF team is that T&T should remove foreign exchange restrictions while providing enough foreign exchange to meet the demand for all current international transactions. The IMF’s encouragement came in its concluding statement following the international financial institution’s Article IV consultations with T&T authorities (Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank). Those consultations lasted from March 1-14. Read more here



Lee, contractor: Cement price increases bad for construction industry

UNC MP for Pointe-a-Pierre David Lee said the increase in cement prices by Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) will have a negative trickle-down effect on the economy, the lives of many who work in the construction industry and will only be profitable for a foreign company – not TT. In an interview with Newsday Lee said, "This is the problem that exists when there is a monopoly with any product." He said the government has limited the possibility for other entities to enter the market, creating a situation where stakeholders and consumers are subject to whatever the monopoly decides on as the price. Read more here



The law will take its course

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, on Thursday, while condemning the harmful statements made by members of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), said that legal reviews are ongoing and the law will take its course. The minister made those remarks on the sidelines of an event on Thursday morning. He said that executive member of the WPA, Tacuma Ogunseye, appeared to be calling out persons or units of the Disciplined Services to take divisive actions which could be harmful to the country. Ogunseye had continued the PNC’s rhetoric of unsubstantiated claims of oppression being faced by Afro-Guyanese under the current government. Read more here



Kremlin aims to destroy Ukraine jets after Poland and Slovakia pledges

The Kremlin has threatened to destroy any fighter jets given to Ukraine by its allies, after two countries promised Soviet-era planes. Slovakia became the second Nato country to pledge Kyiv some MiG-29 aircraft on Friday, a day after Poland. Slovakia's fleet was grounded last year and it no longer uses the jets. Ukraine has asked Western countries for modern jets like the F-16, but because of long training times, these are seen only as long-term options. It sees the extra aircraft as key to its defences and possible counter-attacks, a year into Russia's invasion. Other Nato countries are considering sending Soviet-era planes such as the MiG, which Ukrainian pilots are trained to fly. Read more here

17th March 2023


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