Daily Brief - Friday 3rd March, 2023


Former People's Partnership minister ready to spill all to police re human trafficking

In the continuing saga of human trafficking allegations surrounding the United National Congress (UNC), one of its former ministers, Dr Devant Maharaj has indicated his willingness to spill all he knows to the police, against his former colleagues. CoP Erla Harewood-Christopher has ordered a probe into allegations Maharaj has placed in the public domain, following the 2022 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons report, which referred to senior government officials’ involvement in this illicit trade. The Prime Minister has distanced his members from the allegations, while pointing fingers at the Opposition. Read more here

Venezuela teen forced into prostitution after illegal T&T entry Sold by trafficker for $10,000

Having arrived in Trinidad and Tobago before the COVID-19 pandemic in search of a better life, Marcia Jimson (not her real name), 17, was sold for $10,000 to a trafficker who then put her to work as a prostitute in an upscale Chaguanas home. Jimson was one of a dozen Venezuelan women who were trafficked by a businessman who kept them against their will until they were rescued by members of the T&T Police Service five years ago. Yesterday, Jimson, now 21, broke her silence on the controversial issue of human trafficking, saying she regretted coming to T&T for a job opportunity, as she ended up being used as a sex slave for two months by desperate and sex-craved men—many of whom came from professional backgrounds. Read more here



Chief Sec: Bad Rock in really bad state

Bad rock is really in a bad state – "beyond the eyes," says THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine. Augustine was responding to questions from Newsday on Wednesday about the state of the Windward Road between Kendal and Belle Garden, which has been closed to traffic since November 8, by the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development (DIQUD). This was the result of a land slippage and critical failure of a retaining wall on the seaward side of the road. All drivers were asked to use alternative routes. Read more here

Kamla welcomes TTPS probe

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has welcomed the T&T Police Service (TTPS) investigation into human trafficking. However, she also wants the police to investigate media houses that may be enabling human trafficking through escort service ads, as well as the paedophile allegations contained in the Robert Sabga and Judith Jones reports on children’s homes. Persad-Bissessar also wants the police to interview Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. The police probe was launched after Rowley was asked in Parliament about claims in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Person’s Report that his administration didn’t take action against senior government officials alleged be involved in human trafficking. Read more here



Central Bank, Amcham: Local economy saved by energy sector, Trinidad and Tobago must diversify

The Central Bank of TT and the American Chamber of Commerce of TT (Amcham) have said the local economy was spared the negative effects of the global economic downturn by increases in the prices of oil and gas. Oil and gas prices remained high throughout 2022 due to the Ukraine-Russia war, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil, a benchmark used by oil markets, averaging US$95 per barrel and Henry Hub gas averaging US$6 per mmbtu. TT’s 2022 budget, presented in September 2021, was based on US$65 per barrel and US$3.75 per mmbtu. On Tuesday, the WTI price was US$76 per barrel and the Henry Hub natural gas price was US$2.74 mmbtu. Read more here

‘Group stronger, more adaptive’

Restaurant management company Prestige Holdings Ltd has turned its business around. The financial year 2022 was one of significant recovery for Prestige Holdings, compared to the two previous years, when the Covid-19 pandemic had a severe negative impact on our business, chairman Christian Mouttet said yesterday in the company’s consolidated audited results for the 12 months ended November 30, 2022. Prestige operates KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Subway and Starbucks franchises. Read more here




Aishalton residents now accessing free internet

Students and educators in Aishalton, Deep South Rupununi, Region Nine, now have access to internet connection after officers from the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) facilitated the deployment of cost-free, high-speed internet service to the village. The equipment was installed at the Aishalton Village Office on Thursday morning. Village Toshao, Michael Thomas expressed profound gratitude for the service, noting that it was the first time the village was receiving Wi-Fi service. Read more here



Genevieve Lhermitte: Belgian mother who killed her five children euthanised

A Belgian woman who murdered her five children has been euthanised at her own request, 16 years after the killings. Genevieve Lhermitte killed her son and four daughters, aged three to 14, in the town of Nivelles on 28 February 2007, while their father was away. She then tried to take her own life but failed, and ended up calling emergency services for help. The 56-year-old was sentenced to life in prison in 2008, before being moved to a psychiatric hospital in 2019. In Belgium the law allows for people to chose to be euthanised if they are deemed to be suffering from "unbearable" psychological, and not just physical, suffering that cannot be healed. The person must be conscious of their decision and be able to express their wish in a reasoned and consistent manner. Read more here


3rd March 2023


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