Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PM vs Gold Trade

By CMC - Monday, December 12th, 2011.

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says he has instructed the police to arrest and deport foreigners engaged in buying gold here that has been linked to criminal activities. Gonsalves said that those persons were also breaking the island’s immigration and trade laws. He said that two Venezuelans were recently denied entry into the country on these grounds.

“In the earlier period, some Venezuelans, Trinidadians and other people were going about town with impunity but that has come under careful watch of the police, who have instructions to deal with them,” Gonsalves said on radio.
“First of all, to come in to engage in such activities, you need a trader’s licence. And you can’t come in saying that you are coming in as a visitor and get involved in work activities, because you would have lied to the immigration officials.”

Gonsalves said that there are several offences for which people engaging in such activities can be arrested and charged and it is not just a simple issue of people trading in gold. “This is a matter where there is an encouragement of people to snatch the gold,” he said. According to recent media reports, several persons have had their gold jewellery snatched in Kingstown. Prominent trade unionist Joseph “Burns” Bonadie recently fought off an assailant who had bitten him in an attempt to snatch his gold chain. Gonsalves said that both citizens and foreigners alike were trying to recruit people, including 15-year-olds, to snatch jewelry.

“These multiple things have to be death with not in any sequential manner by at the same time. Fighting the criminals is an on-going matter and anybody who things that you have a magic bullet, they are completely mistaken,” said Gonsalves during a general discussion of crime and violence here.

He further stated that with enhanced freedom of movement in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), there was a movement of criminal of Trinidad and Tobago, “where you have a lot of them.”

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