Caribbean News Round – up

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US Coast Guard seizes millions of dollars in cocaine

US Coast GuardMIAMI, United States (CMC) – The United States Coast Guard says it has seized 515 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of US$17 million during an operation in the Caribbean Sea last week.

It said that on November 15, a joint interagency task force patrol aircraft located a suspicious go-fast vessel with multiple packages aboard southeast of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic.

It said after the vessel was intercepted 22 packages, later found to be cocaine were discovered. Four suspects were held.

“This seizure highlights how effectively the US Coast Guard and our Allied partners are working together to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs from South America into the United States, the Caribbean and Europe,” said Commander Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of law enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District.

“We have to keep these drugs from penetrating our borders. More importantly, we have to get after the organised criminal networks that fuel the violence and instability in the Western Hemisphere,” he added.

Since October 2014, the US Coast Guard said it has removed and seized over 222 metric tons of cocaine estimated at US$7.4 billion.

 

US employers looking to recruit Jamaican farm workers

Fenton-labourKINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Employers from the Great Lakes Agricultural Labour Services (GLALS) in Michigan are looking to recruit Jamaicans to work on their cherry and apple farms.

A two-member delegation from the organisation visited the island from November 16 to 18 for discussions with officials in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to explore opportunities for Jamaican farm workers.

Manager at GLALS, Bob Boehm, said there is huge demand for workers on GLALS farms. He said the entity is looking at Jamaicans because of the “positive feedback received on Jamaican workers”.

Boehm was speaking during a courtesy call on portfolio Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson, at his North Street offices in Kingston on Wednesday.

The GLALS representative said his company is also “intrigued” by the liaison services the ministry provides, which will assist in addressing the needs of both employers and workers.

Dr Ferguson welcomed the employers and assured them that the ministry is “ready for business”.

“I pledge full support for this (initiative) and the staff here will work fully from our end to make a partnership work,” he said.

He noted that due to yearly recruitment activities, the ministry has a pool of pre-screened workers from which the employers can choose.

During the three-day visit, the employers toured the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) and met with farming groups in Portland.

They also had discussions with staff at the Ministry’s Overseas Employment Services Centre. The state of Michigan is the largest producer of cherry and the third largest of apples in the United States.

Last year, GLALS recruited 400 farm workers from Mexico. However, with the high demand for workers, they are looking to expand their recruitment to other countries.

GLALS’ parent company, Michigan Farm Bureau, is the state’s largest general farm organisation.

 

Trini boy, 12, trafficked to Syria

[Trinidad Express] – The Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) has reported that a 12-year-old boy was trafficked out of this country to Syria as a child soldier to ISIS.

This information was contained in the overview of the Trinidad and Tobago’s Trafficking in Persons Situation report for 2014 which was laid in Parliament last Friday.

The report was prepared by Alana Wheeler, the CTU’s deputy director who stated that according to investigations conducted in 2014, there were 35 reports and over 90 persons were screened for human trafficking indicators.

 

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