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Police to flush out foreign fugitives

Police to flush out foreign fugitives



by Omesha Spence

The objective of Operation Vincy Pac is to bring an end to criminal activity in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and, according to the Commissioner of Police Keith Miller, capturing foreign fugitives is part of that.{{more}}

Miller made the statement as he addressed the media following a guided tour of the Vincy Pac operations base at the Old Montrose Police Station on Friday, May 22nd, 2009.

Miller said that a number of fugitives from around the region have been coming to St. Vincent to engage in illegal activities. He mentioned that some come through the airport, check into hotels and the next day retreat to the mountains to conduct criminal activities. This, he says, cannot continue in St. Vincent. “They believe that they can come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to commit criminal acts. As head of security forces, we are not going to have that,” he said.

Miller added that the fugitives have been met in the mountains “either cultivating or among persons who are cultivating” marijuana and have been engaged in other criminal activities.

A solution to the problem, according to the Commissioner, includes training of Customs and Immigration officers, which he says is taking place. He further noted that based on intelligence received, the number of security personnel assigned to the E.T. Joshua airport has been doubled. Miller also noted that one drawback is that the local police force does not obtain intelligence about these fugitives from outside as “swiftly as we would like to.”

The Commissioner also raised the issue of rented vehicles, noting that fugitives who come into St. Vincent sometimes rent vehicles. Miller was of the opinion that vehicle rental companies make renting of vehicles “too easy” for fugitives. He said discussions would be held regarding how vehicles should be rented.

According to Miller, this year so far, one Jamaican fugitive was killed, and last year, two foreigners were killed by other foreigners in St. Vincent. Miller added that these violent fugitives are killing each other in St. Vincent, thus contributing to the homicide rate. “Our homicides go up not because of our locals, but because of foreign criminals who get involved in these acts.”

Other than arresting foreign fugitives, other objectives of Operation Vincy Pac are to recover illegal firearms and eradicate marijuana plantations, the Commissioner disclosed. He also said that the police have already arrested a number of foreign fugitives. “We now have in our custody persons from around the region who are wanted for murder,” he said.

The success of the Vincy-Pac operation would mean a restoration of normalcy, peace and tranquility in this country, Miller affirmed. “We do it for the benefit of Vincentians, we do it for the benefit of our visitors and we do it for the benefit of persons who want to come here and invest, because investors need some tranquility in order to invest their hard earned money,” he asserted.

Operation Vincy Pac began here at 4 am on Monday, May 18th, and involves several hundred law enforcement personnel from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Regional Security Systems (RSS) member countries and police and army personnel from Trinidad and Tobago.

The closing ceremony for the operation will be held this afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Old Montrose police station.