Post Cabinet - 19 May 2016
POST CABINET PRESS BRIEFING SUMMARY
The Minister of Public Administration and Communications, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie, hosted the Post Cabinet Press Briefing today (Thursday 19th May, 2016) at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. Clair, Port of Spain.
At the briefing the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Edmund Dillon commented on an article in which the Leader of the Opposition seemed to be politicizing crime. Minister Dillon emphasized that crime affects each citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and that the present crime situation ought not to be politicized.
Minister Dillon also responded to the call for a meeting of the National Security Council by stressing that the Leader of the Opposition does not control the meetings of the National Security Council. He announced that Prime Minister Dr. Rowley was in fact briefed on national security upon his return to Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday (14th May 2016), as is the norm.
Further information was provided on Monday 16th May 2016 and a meeting of the National Security Council was scheduled for the following day (Tuesday 17th May, 2016).
The Minister of National Security also announced that he has met with the nine (9) divisional heads of police. The main aims of the meeting were to empower the heads to take control of the divisions as well as to make them more accountable for the goings-on in their territories. The Intelligence Fusion Centre, which coordinates and provides operational intelligence, has also been incorporated in strategies so as to ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to dealing with crime at this level.
Minister Dillon announced that, coming out of the meeting, several operations were conducted throughout Trinidad and Tobago resulting in ninety-three (93) arrests and the seizure of weapons and narcotics. Additionally, it was announced that persons who are considered “known perpetrators”, according to intelligence gathered, will also be targeted based on the existent legal framework.
The Minister stated that such individuals must not be allowed to carry on “normal lives” or to hold the country to ransom.
Minister Dillon also provided some statistics on the nature of murders in 2016 (Altercations – 8; Domestic violence – 9; Gang related – 54; Reprisal/revenge killings - 29; Robbery – 15; Drug related – 35; Still being investigated – 28).
He emphasized that the Government is not comfortable with the murder rate and is continuing to put all the required resources to work in order to bring the country back to a secure environment.
The Honourable Stuart Young, Minister in the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, announced that Cabinet had taken a decision regarding the composition of the Board of Directors of First Citizens Bank (FCB). This action was taken as the term of office for a number of directors comes to an end on the 17th June 2016.
Mr. Anthony Smart will be re-appointed as Chairman of the FCB Board of Directors while Mr. Courtney Williams will also be re-appointed to the position of Deputy Chairman.
Four (4) new appointees were also named:
• Mr. Idrees Omardeen
• Mr. Troy Garcia
• Mr. Samuel Henry
• Ms. Giselle MacFarlane
Minister Young also announced that the President of Venezuela, His Excellency Nicolás Maduro, will visit Trinidad and Tobago on Monday 23rd May 2016.
President Maduro will be accompanied by the Minster of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Delcy Rodriguez, Minster of the People’s Power for Petroleum and Mining, H.E. Eulogio Del Pino and H.E. Miguel Perez Abad , Minster of the People’s Power for Industry and Commerce.
Representatives of the national gas company of Venezuela will also form part of the delegation.
Discussions during this visit will be based on the enhancement of bilateral cooperation between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, namely in the areas of energy, foreign policy and trade.
Furthermore, progress made since the last visit to Venezuela by a Trinidad and Tobago delegation (26th October 2015) will also be discussed.