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St Lucian man says money missing after police search

St Lucian man says money missing after police search

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A St Lucian man has accused members of the local constabulary who searched his place of abode of removing EC$4,700 and US$40 from his belongings and not reporting the money.

MacClement St Rose, a Lucian from Vieux Fort, said that he legally entered the country by boat on Tuesday and took up temporary residence in Rose Place/Bottom Town, at the home of a relative.

He had come to St Vincent and the Grenadines to attend a fisheries conference dealing with Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).{{more}}

The man, who has been fishing for 12 years, said he went fishing at about 2.30 on Wednesday morning. On his return at about 10:15 a.m., he was informed that members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and other police officers had executed a search warrant at the residence where he was staying and had broken into his room.

On Wednesday morning, the police conducted ‘Operation IGIRP’ in Rose Place, which had as its objective the removal of illegal guns from the streets.

St Rose said that when he checked, all his travel documents were missing, along with his wallet that contained EC$4,700, US$40, his US green card, driver’s licence, his wife’s expired identification card, a number of store cards and some other items.

“I understand that they came and did a search and broke into the room where I was staying without nobody consent. I was asked to come to the CID, where I had a lawyer with me. They gave me back the pouch with my passport and ID, but the wallet was never returned,” explained St Rose.

“They said nothing about the money when I went to the CID…” he added.

According to St Rose, the officer who dealt with him at CID threw his pouch at him and it fell on the floor.

“He told me to pick it off the floor or he will put it in the garbage. The lawyer sent me to lodge a complaint at Public Relations and they said they will investigate, so I am waiting on them to get back to me. I did not get back my wallet,” stressed the ex-soldier, who revealed that he has been visiting this country for the last four years and was recently here for Carnival.

He said that he is a fisherman by profession, who travels between the two countries by boat. He added that he is disappointed by the treatment he has received, as he was planning to return here for the Nine Mornings Festival in December.

“I would like to know where my wallet is,” stressed the 54-year-old, who assures that he has never been in trouble with the police, “nowhere I lived”.

“This makes me feel like the cops are corrupt. This has left me with no money and I was supposed to be leaving this Friday and I am wondering where I will get fuel to go back home,” remarked St Rose.

He added, “I don’t think that I would come back because of this bad experience. I might have to just change my mind about here.”

When contacted on Wednesday, Sergeant Smith of the Police Public Relations and Complaints Department said that the accusation was reported to the department and it has been documented and will be investigated. (LC)

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