Daily Brief - Thursday 6th December, 2018



The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association is commending the Commissioner of Police on the progress made in policing across the country since his appointment to the Top Cop position in August. The TTMA notes the many positive outcomes of the operations, which Commissioner Griffith has spearheaded within recent times, inclusive of major drug busts and apprehension of kidnappers.  We believe that the signal which is being sent to the criminals in our society is that it is no longer business as usual as it appears that Commissioner Griffith has engaged his mandate without fear and or favour.  The TTMA supports the Commissioner in his crime-fighting endeavours and stands ready to work with him as required in any capacity.  The swift action of Commissioner Griffith and his teams serve to rebuild confidence in the police service as we all work together toward a safer Trinidad and Tobago. Read more here

TTMA: Griffith on right track

The T&T Man­u­fac­tur­ers’As­so­ci­a­tion (TTMA) has com­mend­ed Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith for the progress made in polic­ing across the coun­try since he took up the po­si­tion in Au­gust. The busi­ness group not­ed the many pos­i­tive out­comes in po­lice op­er­a­tions in re­cent times, in­clud­ing ma­jor drug busts and ap­pre­hen­sion of kid­nap­pers. “We be­lieve that the sig­nal which is be­ing sent to the crim­i­nals in our so­ci­ety is that it is no longer busi­ness as usu­al as it ap­pears that Com­mis­sion­er Grif­fith has en­gaged his man­date with­out fear and or favour,” the TTMA said in a state­ment. Read more here



Crime, corruption, flooding affecting Penal/Debe business

“Crime, corruption, flooding, lack of transparency and accountability are crippling our county, our businesses and our livelihoods.” These were the sentiments expressed by president of the Penal/Debe Chamber Rampersad Sieuraj at his organisation's Christmas dinner last Saturday at Achievors Conference Centre, San Fernando. The statements came hours after a Penal family, including two children, were kidnapped. The family, Aaron Sooknanan, 28, his Venezuelan-born wife Paola Sanchez-Sooknanan, 26, and their children, Ricardo, five and Isabella, three, were rescued by police without any ransom being paid. Read more here

Galleons Passage fails to complete Tobago voyage

Pas­sen­gers try­ing to make their way to To­ba­go via the Galleons Pas­sage were left con­fused as to the ex­act rea­son why the ves­sel had to re­turn to the Port of Port-of-Spain while on the way to the Scar­bor­ough Port yes­ter­day. The ves­sel was mak­ing the jour­ney to To­ba­go af­ter hav­ing de­part­ed Port-of-Spain around 11 am. The ves­sel was sched­uled to ar­rive in To­ba­go at 4.30 pm. But pas­sen­gers claim around 2 pm, al­most mid­way through the jour­ney, it was an­nounced that the Galleons Pas­sage would not make it to Scar­bor­ough but had to re­turn to Trinidad. One man,who made a short record­ing, which has been mak­ing the rounds on so­cial me­dia, claims pas­sen­gers were told rough seas and bad weath­er were be­ing giv­en as the rea­sons for the jour­ney be­ing abort­ed. His record­ing showed bright sun and calm seas. Read more here



DPP vacancies at 57 per cent

Joint Select Committee (JSC) member Paul Richards says the public will be frustrated with vacancies in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and how this impacts on the justice system. “So while we touting that we want to solve crime and we want to reduce criminality and we want to increase the efficiency of the criminal justice system, the public can hear this is one of the problems. Because if you have 57 per cent of your staff in a critical agency like the Office of the DPP lagging behind like this...it is somebody’s fault and the public is paying for this inefficiency...with continued lapses, with people sitting on Remand for years – six years on average, and presumed innocent. And the public has a right to be frustrated with this.” Read more here

Space crisis at DPP’s office

There is a space cri­sis at the Of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) and as a re­sult, va­can­cies can­not be ful­filled at this time. This was yes­ter­day dis­closed dur­ing the sit­ting of the Joint Se­lect Com­mit­tee (JSC) of the Par­lia­ment on Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty. JSC mem­ber Ger­ard Ramdeen asked to clar­i­fy how many va­can­cies have been iden­ti­fied. He said based on in­for­ma­tion giv­en by the DPP in a let­ter dat­ed Au­gust 2018 iden­ti­fied 74 – the sanc­tioned strength 120, which he said rep­re­sents 56 per cent va­can­cies. How­ev­er, Prab­hawaite Maraj, Di­rec­tor of Per­son­nel Ad­min­is­tra­tion cor­rect­ed Ramdeen iden­ti­fy­ing 73 va­can­cies at the Port-of-Spain of­fice. Read more here



Money (that’s what I want)

Not enough companies list shares or borrow money by issuing bonds. And there just aren’t enough buyers and sellers willing to trade or invest. As of September 2018, there was over 4.99 billion in excess cash sitting in commercial banks. This is cash that can be invested to build businesses and create jobs. Potential investment is trapped. Sagicor has decided to de-list from the TT and Barbados stock exchanges. Following a US$536 million acquisition by Canada’s Alignvest, it will re-list on the Toronto stock exchange. Read more here

Scotiabank declares $644m profit

Sco­tia­bank T&T Lim­it­ed yes­ter­day re­port­ed in­come af­ter tax of $644 mil­lion for the year end­ed Oc­to­ber 31, 2018, a de­crease of $13 mil­lion or two per cent com­pared to the cor­re­spond­ing pe­ri­od in 2017. This re­duc­tion in prof­itabil­i­ty was dri­ven by the in­creased cor­po­rate tax rate levied on com­mer­cial banks—from 30 to 35 per cent—com­bined with high­er lev­els of loan loss pro­vi­sion­ing. How­ev­er, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Stephen Bag­narol said the bank con­tin­ues to high­light its fi­nan­cial strength with re­turn on eq­ui­ty of 16.05 per cent and re­turn on as­sets of 2.69 per cent. Read more here



'Charge Them!' - Private Sector Wants Persons To Be Held Criminally Responsible For Findings At Petrojam

Someone should be held criminally responsible for two of the more damning findings unearthed by a comprehensive audit of the state-run oil refinery Petrojam and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, private sector leaders charged yesterday. Further, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) wants the findings referred to the finance ministry, in keeping with the Financial Administration and Audit Act, "to see what, if any, sanctions should be imposed". Read more here



Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada, faces extradition to United States

A Huawei spokesperson said Meng was detained by Canadian authorities on behalf of the United States when she was transferring flights in Canada. Huawei said she faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that the US Justice Department was investigating whether Huawei violated US sanctions on Iran. "The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng," the spokesperson said. "The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU." Read more here

Rescue mission in Japan after two US Marine aircraft collide

A big search and rescue operation is continuing in Japan for five missing US Marines after two aircraft with seven crew collided and crashed into the sea. Two Marines were rescued. One is in "fair condition", while the other "is being transported to a local hospital for evaluation", Marines officials say. The planes involved are a KC-130 and an F/A-18 based at Iwakuni near Hiroshima, Marines officials say. US media say they crashed during a mid-air refuelling exercise. The Marine Corps has not officially confirmed this, describing the incident as a "mishap". Read more here

6th December 2018


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