Caribbean News Round-up

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Ruptured cocaine pellets spurs emergency landing

 

cocaine[Daily Mail] – A man from Birmingham who had swallowed 61 pellets of cocaine to smuggle it into Britain from Antigua sparked an emergency landing as he nearly died after one of the packs burst inside his stomach.

Colmin Smith, 48, was travelling on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Antigua to London Gatwick when he fell ill after ingesting what later was discovered to be 239.39 grams of cocaine, worth £40,000 at street value.

The Airbus A330 had just left Antigua when Smith informed a flight attendant about what had happened and then lost consciousness.

Senior magistrate Archibald Warner told Smith he should ‘thank his lucky stars’ he was here to face charges rather than dead.

Mr Warner said: ‘I guess you were lucky, there are other technical reasons why you’ve been charged with this, but let’s put it down to luck.

‘You should thank whoever you worship, or look to, because you are really lucky.

‘You didn’t come to the first heaven, but you came to Bermuda, the second heaven.’

Speaking later a senior member of the island’s narcotic unit said: ‘There was no evidence that the drug was to be peddled on Bermuda’s streets so he could only be charged with possession.

‘If he had been found guilty of supplying the narcotics he would have been banged up for life.

‘He is one very lucky man. He came close to losing his life, either by overdose or by life sentence.

‘We have dealt with individuals who have consumed 1.5kilos of cocaine and heroin.’

Dwayne Caines, head of communication for the Bermudan Police, added: ‘This case stands out for two reasons, the fact that, quite simply, this man should not be with us and the exorbitant cost of his medical care. He was in hospital for quite a time.

‘Anyone who chooses to be a drug mule is not only taking a huge risk with their health but in this jurisdiction, risking very substantial jail time.

After appearing in court and paying the fine, Smith was deported with the help of the British Embassy.

 

Volkswagen ‘allowed torture’ under Brazil military rule

_85700305_92da45d5-aaca-4e5f-b60e-28cfcd3244ca[BBC] – A group of former Volkswagen employees in Brazil has filed a civil lawsuit against the German carmaker.

The former employees accuse the firm of allowing its workers to be detained and tortured under Brazil’s military rule from 1964 to 1985.

Twelve former workers say they were arrested and tortured at a Volkswagen factory in Sao Bernardo do Campo.

Brazil’s national truth commission last year found that abuse was rife under military rule.

More than 400 people were killed or disappeared between 1964 and 1985. Many others were arrested and tortured.

Trade union and left-wing activists were among those targeted and a number of companies have been accused of colluding with the repression.

‘Torture at work’

In its final report, published in December 2014, the truth commission described the case of Volkswagen employee Lucio Bellentani.

“I was at work when two people with machine guns came up to me,” the communist activist said.

“They held my arms behind my back and immediately put me in handcuffs. As soon as we arrived in Volkswagen’s security centre, the torture began. I was beaten, punched and slapped.”

According to lawyer Rosa Cardoso, 12 employees at the Sao Bernardo do Campo site near Sao Paulo were tortured, while others were laid off and placed on blacklists.

When the allegations were published in the truth commission’s report last year, Volkswagen said it was “pursuing any indication of possible involvement of the employees at Volkswagen do Brasil in human rights violations during the period of military dictatorship”.

The firm, which is currently embroiled in a scandal after it was caught manipulating its diesel car emissions tests, has not yet responded to the news of the civil suit being filed.

 

LIAT employee allegedly beats customer

 

LIAT[CMC] – LIAT has confirmed it has suspended one of its employees and launched an investigation into an alleged fight between the female worker and a customer in Tortola last week.

The Antigua-based carrier said it began the probe immediately after being informed about the incident at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on September 18.

“The employee in question has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

LIAT is committed to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts surrounding the incident and to a fair resolution of the matter,” it said in a brief statement issued yesterday.

The press release gave no details about the incident.

However, media reports out of the British Virgin Islands, where police are also carrying out investigations, stated that the female customer went to the airport after 8:30 p.m. for a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico and after waiting for two hours asked the LIAT agent for information.

According to the reports, when the airline worker told the passenger that the flight had already left, a heated argument ensued and the confrontation subsequently got physical.

The customer was treated at the hospital for injuries sustained during the altercation, and then released.

Jamaican toyboy marries UK woman for VISA

In love? Angharad Lovering, 38, married Jamaican toyboy Loric Bullock, 19, after a six month affair via Skype
In love? Angharad Lovering, 38, married Jamaican toyboy Loric Bullock, 19, after a six month affair via Skype

[Daily Mail] – A 38-year-old mother-of-two who married a Jamaican toyboy almost half her age after he romanced her on Skype and Blackberry Messenger today insisted they are the ‘real deal’.

Angharad Lovering, 38, from South Wales, flew to the Caribbean for a three-week holiday to meet Loric Bullock, then 19, and says she knew it was ‘meant to be’ when she came back pregnant.

Her new lover then proposed by text and despite having only met him once she accepted and took out a £3,000 loan to pay for his temporary British visa before marrying him last May.

Loric proposed to Angharad via text just weeks later and, despite having only met once, she said yes – and took out a loan to pay for a £3,000 temporary visa for her new fiance.

In October 2013 she gave birth to their baby boy, Tyrese – with a doctor holding her hand and Loric 5,000 miles away on the end of the phone.

It was not until March 2014, when Tyrese was five months old, that Loric got his visa and could fly to the UK to meet his son for the first time – and his fiancé for the second – marrying in the May.

Despite the age gap and their unconventional courtship, she insists that they are the ‘real deal’ and ‘doesn’t give a damn’ what critics think.marry

The couple now live together in Cardiff with their son Tyrese, now one, and Angharad’s daughter from a previous relationship, Daisy, 15.

Ms Lovering admits that people often mistake Loric for for her son or her teenage daughter’s boyfriend.

She said: ‘A lot of people confuse him for her boyfriend.

‘I don’t look as old as I am and I certainly don’t dress my age because I don’t want to look my age. I don’t have wrinkles so I’m lucky.

‘But Loric has a baby face. A couple of people have said to my daughter, “Is that your boyfriend?” and she has to say, “No, it’s my stepfather.”

‘I keep a very small circle of friends and I don’t really get on with my family so I don’t give a damn what they think.’

Angharad and Loric, now 22, first started talking when she took Daisy – whose father is Jamaican – over to the country to meet her grandparents in 2012.

‘While I was there I met some guy and through that I got talking to Loric on Blackberry Messenger,’ said Angharad. [Extract]

 

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