(MONSERRAT) High Court Report: A former First Minister of the British overseas territory of Montserrat has been convicted of sexually exploiting five girls including two 13 year olds #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.04: A joint investigation by the Royal Montserrat Police and National Crime Agency uncovered evidence that he sent his victims thousands of Eastern Caribbean Dollars to have sex with him and send him indecent images of themselves.

#AceDailyNews reports that a former British overseas territory First Minister groomed and sexually abused five girls: David Brandt, aged 78, groomed the girls by giving them money, phone credit and used one girl, aged 15, to recruit others to abuse.

1 July 2021:

Yesterday (30 June 2021), Brandt, who led the Montserrat government between 1997 and 2001, was convicted of six counts of dealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation and one charge of perverting the course of justice.

The jury failed to reach a verdict in respect of a seventh count of dealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation.

Brandt’s offences were carried out between September 2013 and June 2018.

He met one girl, aged 15, through his work as a lawyer. He groomed her and used her as a channel to other vulnerable young girls including two 13-year-olds.

He told the 15-year-old he wanted to abuse her and one of the 13-year-olds together and sent her 500 Eastern Caribbean dollars to arrange for him to abuse the younger girl.

Speaking of the 13-year-old, he told the older girl: “If she treat me good, I will treat she very good.”

The disgraced lawyer obtained indecent images of both 13-year-olds, one of whom he first saw when she was 12 and said he wanted “to be with her”.

Brandt was first arrested in September 2015. Officers searched his office and discovered sex toys, sexual enhancement medication, condoms and an unused mobile phone.

After he was charged with sex offences, he made five payments to one 16-year-old girl totalling over 2,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars so she would not talk to investigators.

The case took so long to come to court because Brandt sought to delay the trial by appealing the decisions made by the numerous Judges that have been appointed to deal with the case.

He also attempted to have the data which was downloaded from his mobile phone excluded as evidence, which led to a significant number of Appeal Court Hearings and Privy Council Appeals on the matter.

NCA investigators built a case against Brandt from extensive phone records and text messages.

He promised to give a mobile phone and money in exchange for sex with a 17-year-old, whom records showed he paid a total of 3,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars.

Phone evidence also suggested he had groomed this girl and the 15-year-old to have sex together while he watched.

He obtained two indecent images from another 16-year-old who introduced him to a girl who Brandt sexually abused between the ages of 15 and 17.

He paid both of these girls 1,900 Eastern Caribbean Dollars so he could abuse them together in his office.

NCA senior investigating officer Anne Farrelly, said: “David Brandt clearly posed a huge risk to children over many years.

“Evidence shows he did everything he could to groom and sexually abuse girls as young as 13 on several occasions.

“He plotted, paid money and relentlessly pursued these vulnerable young girls for his own sick gratification.

“He abused his position as an eminent lawyer and is also guilty of a huge betrayal of trust.”

Tony Cook, Head of Child Sexual Abuse Operations at the NCA, said:

“This is an outstanding result. Our investigation into Brandt’s offending has been both tenacious and painstaking in order to ensure he stood trial for some horrible crimes against local children.

“When he was arrested he made it quite clear to us he thought he would escape prosecution. He did everything in his power to delay and disrupt the criminal justice process, including appealing many of the judicial rulings and attempting to get key evidence excluded.

“He also made the victims give evidence and relive their abuse in court.

“His attempts were thwarted through a determination to seek justice for the victims and he will now serve a long sentence in prison where he no longer poses a risk to children.

“I sincerely hope this case sends a clear message to any other victims of child sexual abuse that they can have complete trust and confidence in the criminal justice process and law enforcement.

“Victims will always be fully supported, and we are determined to arrest and see prosecuted anyone who commits these atrocious offences, no matter who they are.”

Brandt has been remanded in custody and will return to Montserrat High Court on 14 July 2021 to be sentenced

#AceNewsDesk report …..Published: July.04: 2021:

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#caribbean, #court, #monserrat

#AceWorldNews EUROPEAN UNION May 06 The EU has…

#AceWorldNews – EUROPEAN UNION – May 06 – The EU has reportedly lifted visa requirements for 19 countries from the Pacific, Caribbean, Middle East and Latin America.

The EU Council adopted a regulation to exempt from visa requirements when travelling to the Schengen zone nationals from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Peru, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.

The decision prompted frustration in Turkey, which has been waiting for years to acquire the right to visa-free travel, Hurriyet Daily News reported.


#caribbean, #columbia, #dominican-republic, #european-union, #grenada, #grenadines, #kiribati, #latin-america, #marshall-islands, #micronesia, #middle-east, #nauru, #pacific, #palau, #peru, #samoa, #solomon-islands, #st-lucia, #st-vincent, #timor-leste, #tobago, #tonga, #trinidad, #turkey, #tuvalu, #united-arab-emirates, #vanuatu

` ` Greystone Security Services and Mercenary Activities Provided Through-Out the World ‘

#AceNewsServices – April 11 – According to Ukrainian Security Service, mercenaries will be engaged in political search and protection of state security over inability of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies to curb on leaders and activists of pro-Russian movement independently.

This initiative was put forward by oligarchs Ihor Kolomoyskyi, a co-owner of Ukraine’s PrivatBank, and Serhiy Taruta, head of the industrial union of Donbass, a coal basin in eastern Ukraine, as these business tycoons were appointed as governors in central Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region and eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, respectively.

A source in Ukrainian Security Service which participated in recent special meeting chaired by parliament-appointed interim President Oleksandr Turchynov reported about this fact.

“Turchynov believes that law enforcement agencies in eastern regions cannot settle the issue of pro-Russian movement themselves, so they decided to attract foreign mercenaries,” the security official said. “In debates over action plan Kolomoyskyi proposed “not to re-invent a bicycle”, because there are real people who have a clear idea how much and how to pay,” he said.

Greystone security service is registered on Caribbean islands Barbados. The company recruits people from different countries through its subsidiary Satelles Solutions Inc. The company promises to its clients to provide “best military from the whole world” to fulfil tasks in any part of the world up to large-scale operations.

Private military company Greystone Limited was established 47 years ago and has British roots, as veterans of British commandoes SAS registered a basic organization of mercenaries in 1967. The company was called WatchGuard International and drew attention to itself after an abortive first large-scale operation — an attempt on the life of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 1971.

Then the organization has undertaken the second operation already with retired US Commandos Navy SEALs during the US war in Iraq in 2003-2011, when major corporations used actively Greystone services.

Now Greystone Limited is one of branches of a big mercenary empire in the United States which changes its names constantly, as this was Blackwater until 2009, then Xe Services and Academi and now US Training Centre.

Murders, shootings of demonstrations, arms smuggling entailed ill fame through all flashpoints in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Now Ukraine is next in line.

But today there is no exact information about the volume of the market of private military services, as it is estimated only approximately at $200 billion annually. US high-ranking officials have always occupied key posts in the empire of soldiers of fortune — from the US State Department Bureau of Counter-terrorism, the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counter-terrorism Centre and US intelligence services.


#barbados, #caribbean, #greystone-ltd, #ukrainian-security-service

#AceGuestNews and Views Brendan Cole VOR Two centuries…

#AceGuestNews and Views – Brendan Cole – VOR

Two centuries on from the abolition of slavery, the slave trade continues to make headlines. A coalition of 14 Caribbean heads of state is considering endorsing a proposal to seek financial reparation for 400 years of slavery. Martyn Day is a senior UK lawyer, who is one of those who have drawn up an action plan to try and bring a claim to the International Criminal Court next year.

The nations involved argue that a legacy of illiteracy, poor health and limited social opportunities in the region is a direct consequence of the centuries of Human trafficking.

Day explained that they were approached by the prime minister of St Vincent about helping them with the issue after they achieved compensation for the Mau Mau tortured by the British in Kenya in the 1950’s.

They agreed there was no prospect of a case for injuries suffered in the same way as with the Mau Mau, so the case is about the damage being suffered today.

“Even now in 2014, the Caribbean suffers a lot from what happened during the slave era,” he says. “Issues such as health, education, social welfare. The Caribbean nations have been hamstrung by their past. We would be saying to countries like Britain, France, Netherlands and other countries that they should play a role in trying to recompense and assist the Caribbean nations in trying to come into the 21st century.”
We pointed out that some of them may not agree.

“Of course, but we benefited massively from the money that was being made out of slaves back in the 16th, 17th, 18th century and at the same time we were handicapping both the African and Caribbean states.

#AceGuestViews of Brendan Cole


Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_03_10/Slavery-UK-lawyers-assist-14-Caribbean-nations-in-push-for-ICC-claim-5832/

#african, #britain, #caribbean, #france, #human-trafficking, #icc, #international-criminal-court, #mau-mau, #netherlands, #slave-trade, #uk

#Barbados : ” Earthquake Magnitude 6.7 Strikes North-East of Bridgetown”

#AceBreakingNews says reports of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake has struck off the Caribbean island of Barbados on Tuesday morning, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake was 126 miles (202km) northeast of the capital Bridgetown at a depth of 20 miles (32km).

The quake, which struck shortly before dawn, did not immediately appear to have had any notable impact in the capital Bridgetown, Reuters said.

#barbados, #bridgetown, #caribbean, #reuters, #us-geological-survey

#Haiti Remembered and Four Years on Still Rebuilding People’s Lives

#AceNewsServices says according to the latest CN article the rebuilding of Haiti following the January 12, 2010 earthquake is either taking a lot longer than expected or is going reasonably well.

Darren Hercyk, Haiti country director for Catholic Relief Services, has found the perspective that prevails depends on who is visiting on a given day.

A girl sits outside a classroom at St. Anthony of Padua Church in the rural community of Petite Riviere des Nippes, Haiti, in this March 2011 photo. CNS/Bob Roller

A girl sits outside a classroom at St. Anthony of Padua Church in the rural community of Petite Riviere des Nippes, Haiti, in this March 2011 photo. CNS/Bob Roller

For newcomers, he told Catholic News Service recently, the country’s seemingly overwhelming disarray is a shock and they wonder where the billions of dollars in aid promised by the nations of the world immediately after the earthquake has gone.

“Others would be amazed by how much has been done,” Hercyk said.

He prefers to focus on what has been done, having been in Haiti for a year and a half guiding Catholic Relief Services’ largest country program.

For Hercyk and the hundreds of CRS staffers, the effort is more than rebuilding structures and facilities; it’s about strengthening Haitian institutions nationwide. Give Haiti another decade, he said.

Haitians need to see the change coming from Haitians,” he said from his office in the Delmas neighbourhood of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. “The road to sustainability goes through strengthening Haitian institutions.”

Those institutions include nongovernmental organizations and the Catholic Church.

“Strengthening Haitian institutions doesn’t mean just coordinating with them. It really means getting in there and having them do the project and you working with them while they’re doing them. That’s the commitment we’re seeing much more today,” he explained

“At CRS we realize we won’t see long-lasting change unless we invest in the church,” he said.

Among the efforts getting attention are education, health care, safety and security, housing, food and nutrition and more.

But Hercyk stressed patience.

Nearly 172,000 people remained in more than 300 tent camps Sept. 30, according to the International Organization for Migration, even though hundreds of thousands of displaced people have returned to their neighborhoods or moved in with relatives. In many cases the housing that is available is subpar and expensive. People everywhere live in tight quarters.

Affordable,  safe housing is among Haiti’s greatest needs. In response, CRS has set out in developing a pilot program with U.S. Agency for International Development in the community of Caradeaux. It calls for building 125 units whereby people can develop a sense of home ownership. If it works, it will be a model for other areas around the overcrowded capital, where nearly a third of Haiti’s 10 million citizens live.

Two other programs also deserve mention.

CRS continues to develop a country-wide education program that takes advantage of the strengths of a particular school and helps others see where improvements are necessary. The program stems from a survey released in June 2012 that tabulated details on every school in the country including data on the obvious, such as teacher salaries and availability of technology, and the not so obvious, such as access to safe drinking water and waste removal.

The report is being used to identify shortcomings, roadblocks to improvements, teacher training needs and building needs so that resources can be funneled appropriately to Catholic schools, the largest provider of education in Haiti. For the record, Catholic schools account for 15 percent of schools in Haiti, while public schools number just 12 percent of schools. The remainder are run by other religious groups or private entities.

A bed is seen in a room at St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 30, 2010, weeks after it was destroyed by an earthquake. CNS/Bob Roller

A bed is seen in a room at St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 30, 2010, weeks after it was destroyed by an earthquake. CNS/Bob Roller

On the health care front, CRS and the Catholic Health Association in the U.S. have helped build a nationwide network of eight hospitals — with two others about to join — to share information, purchase equipment and medication, improve business operations and offer training programs. Hercyk credited CHA’s technical know-how for improving hospital operations.

“Our role is to create the network which can be a stand-alone institution,” he said.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the new St. Francis de Sales Hospital in the capital. The hospital was destroyed in the earthquake, but served as a triage center for some of the most seriously wounded people for weeks under tents set up in an outdoor courtyard. Hercyk said CRS plans to turn over the completed build on Oct. 1 with the goal of opening the state-of-the-art facility in time for the fifth anniversary of the disaster.

Fallout from the introduction of cholera in 2011 continues to plague Haiti, however. While incidences are down, any major rainstorm will continue to push the water-borne illness into new areas. Health care workers have done tremendous work limiting the disease in a country rife with health care challenges.

Through Dec. 19, more than 695,700 cases of the disease had been reported by this PDF Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population, with 8,515 deaths.

Courtesy of: CN

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#acenewsservices, #2010-haiti-earthquake, #caribbean, #catholic-relief-services, #crs, #haiti, #hercyk, #port, #port-au-prince