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Grieving woman warns: Avoid lure of fast money

Grieving woman warns: Avoid lure of fast money


The sister of a man who is believed to have been killed during a shoot out with Barbados police on May 2nd is begging young men to avoid the lure of fast money.{{more}}

Urging them to work hard and honestly for what they want, even though it may not come as quickly, Sonasher Soleyn, a teacher, of Cane Hall, is now in much distress, as she and her family come to terms with the loss of her 26-year-old brother, Joseph Soleyn.

In the lead story of last Friday’s SEARCHLIGHT, May 9th, it was reported that MacKlen Samuel, a 42-year-old car washer, of Vermont, appeared in a Barbados court charged with supplying, trafficking, and importing 1106 pounds of marijuana within the territorial waters of Barbados on May 2nd.

The report is that some 25 bags and six taped packages of marijuana totaling 1,106 pounds were pulled from the water after the boat capsized and sank during the operation.

Samuel was shot in his face during the encounter, and three other men, including two Vincentians, were believed to have been killed in the operation.

Sonasher, who did her own investigations after seeing the story, told SEARCHLIGHT that she is reliably informed that her brother Joseph and her uncle Reynold Kirby were also on the boat with MacKlen.

She said that no one has seen her brother since Sunday, April 27th, and it is not like him to stay away so long.

He recently had a baby boy, now nine months old, with his girlfriend of six years Sheriffa Baptiste, with whom he lived with at Level Garden.

“I didn’t know anything about this. I never know him to be involved in that. He didn’t tell anyone about this because he knew we would have discouraged him. I don’t know who got him to go on that boat,” Sonasher told SEARCHLIGHT.

“The pain and distress this whole situation is causing to us; I am appealing to make an honest living, and work hard, the fast money is not the way,” a broken hearted Sonasher said.

She said that while she doesn’t condone a life of drugs, she would have preferred if they were held and jailed so that they could feel the consequences of their actions, and get a chance to learn from it.

She told SEARCHLIGHT that she hopes that they were not assassinated by the Barbados police.

“We don’t do that,” was the response from Superintendent Philips, the Drug Unit Commander of the Barbados police.

Superintendent Philips confirmed that a shoot out did take place during the operation, and said that information from Samuel, the lone survivor, is that two other Vincentians and two Barbadian men were on the vessel.

Philips said that only Samuel was rescued along with the drugs, and told SEARCHLIGHT frankly, that he is “extremely doubtful” that anyone else survived.

None of the other bodies were recovered, Philip said, noting that if they had recovered bodies of Vincentians, the Vincentian police would have been notified.

Philips also said that it is a myth that Barbadian police are trigger happy when dealing with drug runners, especially from St Vincent, saying that the force used by the police is determined by the response of the drug dealers when they are approached by the police.

Meanwhile, Samuel will next appear in court on June 3, and remains the only one who can say what transpired that night, and who all were with him on the ill-fated journey.