Caribbean News Round-up


Woman, 18, and friend found dead, burnt after ending relationship with ‘criminal’

Honda Civic[Trinidad Express] – A teenager who refused to heed her parents’ advice to change her lifestyle, was found burnt, along with a friend, in the back seat of a car in Chaguanas on Monday night.

The remains of Gabriella Sohan, 18, and her friend, 27-year-old Christopher Ramsawak, were found in the back seat of Ramsawak’s Honda Civic car around 10.42 p.m.

Sohan’s death came months after she confided in relatives that she was a target for murder.

Homicide detectives are pursuing information that Sohan recently ended a relationship with a “known criminal element” from central Trinidad.

Her relatives confirmed she was involved in a two-year relationship with the man.

Police believe Ramsawak was liming with the teenager when she was attacked.

Investigators said residents along Woodford Lodge Street, Chaguanas, heard an explosion and contacted the nearby Chaguanas Police Station.


St Mary boy to sue State for damage to his reputation

ISIS-Black-Flag-Brigade[Jamaica Observer] – THE 16-year-old St Mary boy whose name was linked to terrorist group ISIS after he was refused landing in Suriname and sent home to Jamaica, in early April, is expected to file suit against the State this week.

The teen, whose father is Muslim, is expected to ask for several million dollars for damage to his reputation and over his detention, the Jamaica Observer has been informed.

The youth made headlines when he was sent home from Suriname in early April, on allegations from law enforcement officials in that country that he was travelling to Turkey to join the Islamic terror group.

He was held in State care in Jamaica, while the police probed the ISIS allegations, before being released on April 22. The court, however, ordered that he be supervised over a two-year period.

His father told the Observer in a subsequent interview that security minister Peter Bunting needed to apologise to his son for comments he made regarding him, and that the police needed to apologise as well.

He said his son had shunned Islam and that he was a Christian.

On April 27, the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Corporate Communication Unit issued a statement from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC) detailing its investigation into the ISIS allegations.

The release said that the interest the Jamaican police had in the matter “was initially triggered by a number of peculiarities” concerning the teen’s travel arrangements.

“Of foremost concern was the fact that the student, a first-time traveller, was travelling as an unaccompanied minor on a trip that would require several international connections, using a route that has become the focus of security concerns throughout the region.

“The route booked for the minor would see him travelling from Jamaica with connections in Trinidad, Suriname, and The Netherlands, culminating in Istanbul, Turkey. This route has been under international scrutiny as it is a known route for persons travelling to join the terrorist organisation, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),” the release pointed out.

The release also listed a number of factors that caught the attention of the police, but it concluded:

“To date, our investigations have not confirmed that ISIS was recruiting the student or that he was providing any material support to any fundamentalist group associated with ISIS. However, the anomalies that emerged during the initial checks had to be verified to protect the interest of the child and safeguard legitimate national security interests.”


Jack, please pay me

Jack Warner
Jack Warner

[TT Newsday] – A 60-year-old unemployed mother of a partially blind, mute and deaf artist is appealing to corruption accused, former FIFA vice president Jack Warner to honour a High Court judgement and pay her the almost $.5 million owed to her by one of his companies.

Gwenie Gomez-James, of Silverbeak Lane, Maloney, has for the last three years been appealing to Warner to pay the debt, which now amounts to $474,299, before interest is calculated.

Gomez-James was a former employee of JAMAD Maintenance Services; the directors of which are listed as Warner, his wife Maureen and their two sons Daryan and Darrell. The company was one of eight entities, Warner listed as being involved in the management in a recent affidavit in support of a judicial review application challenging his extradition to the United States.

On May 2, 2007, Gomez-James suffered an accident on the job which caused her significant injury to her eye. Since then she has been unable to work and commenced legal proceedings against JMSL in 2010. On May 11, 2011, the High Court granted judgment in Gomez- James’ favour and one year later, damages were assessed by Master Martha Alexander in the sum of $180,000 at a rate of eight percent interest from November 30, 2010, to May 15, 2012; special damages in the sum of $101,990 with interest at eight percent for same period and loss of earnings of $129,000 as well as costs assessed in the sum of $63,239.

Since then, Gomez-James has been trying to get Warner or his company to pay the court ordered compensation. She recently retained a new lawyer to represent her interests and attorney Kevin Ramcharan, in a letter to Warner, dated July 22, said his client has made ‘multiple requests and attempts to have JMSL satisfy judgment debt and to pay what is owed to her.’ ‘JMSL has wholly failed and or refused to pay this judgment sum,’ the letter noted. Gomez-James also said she was told that JMSL stopped making NIS contributions for her or even signed the requisite forms for her benefits. She is now facing possible eviction from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) as she owes thousands of dollars in arrears.

‘Directly consequent on the accident and the failure of JMSL to pay her the judgment debt due and owing to her, she has no financial capability to pay her rent to the HDC for the premisses which she lives in. She is currently several thousand dollars in arrears and faces the threat of eviction from those premises,’ the letter to Warner noted.

‘At her age and with her injury, it is not possible for her to get another job. For her survival she relies on the good grace of relatives and friends,’ Warner was also informed.

In addition to her financial plight, Gomez-James also cares for her son Selris, who is receiving treatment in the US. ‘My client is prepared even to agree that this judgment sum be paid directly to the Selris James Fund by JMSL or youself, in good faith and on humanitarian grounds,’ the lawyer’s letter to Warner said.

Gomez-James would also like Warner to pay her NIB entitlements.



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