Archive for December, 2013

Laughing off Corruption

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Paul-Daniel Nahous speaking at the Transparency Forum in UWI, St. Augustine Campus.


This week saw RIP notices flooding Newspapers and News Feeds. From the very young to the very old, from those stricken with poverty to the unimaginably wealthy, the unknown to the world famous. While the former part of the week consisted of accidents and brutal murders (mainly of children), the latter (today) I can smile at. Two men passed away in their 90’s, on a local sport hero who excelled on a global scale, the other an international icon of justice and freedom beyond compare. It is a sigh of relief to not hear of people dying tragically by the bullet or speed, and not of a young age. As we continue to seek justice and try to make sense of the senseless lives lost, let us try to smile while sending off all men of greatness who have more than served their time in this harsh physical world, and left back a Legacy that will undoubtedly be preserved throughout time .

On the flip side…
“RIP Paul Walker” takes over the Trini News Feed more than RIP to the 3 year old who was killed yesterday, and the 6 year old who was raped while being killed and stuffed in a barrel. Trinis more upset over Zimmerman getting off than of the 5 killings in Trinidad that same weekend. My fellow Trinis have so quickly traded in their colonized minds for mindless US fandom. Why do we struggle to find a National Identity? Because we traded what we were told we were (“Natives” by the British), for what we aspire to degrade into (American Pop Culture). We care less about who we are over who we fight down to try to be. Jump up and Wine has become the overtone of Trinis to the world, and we like it so ent? Nonsense going on here. Until we fight to uphold the phrase “Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve” in line with defining ourselves as a Nation, the National Anthem, Our Watchwords, and our National Pledge (how many of us even know that we have a National Pledge, let alone can recite it) will continue to die a slow and painful death like many of our society.

If this upsets or offends you, do like some “trinis” out there and kill another Scarlet Ibis for wild meat then complain about those telling you to stop in the same “wrong and strong” manner that has become the norm here…..

Among those who have left us:
The Sad (Sending off in Sorrow):
Keyana. A six year old girl with with world ahead of her, taken in a brutal manner, raped while being killed. The murder accused is in custody and facing trail. May she Rest in Peace and the Lord comfort her family.

The Questionable (Sending off in Confusion):
21 year old man shot dead at 8am, broad daylight by arguably the most buzy Gas station in the West…

The Good (Sending off with Pride):
Former T&T Sprinter, 100m World Record Holder & 1977 Chaconia Gold Medal awardee, Emanuel McDonald Bailey has just died. He passed away at the age of 92. A final bow out for a national sport hero. RIP
May the Soul of Nelson Mandela Rest in Peace, and may we never forget his struggle and the legacy that great men like him have left behind. 95 years on this earth and a message that will last forever.

May the Souls of all the faithfully departed, through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace.  SU-40-1948-Olympics-4

Last week recorded the biggest heist in Trinidad and Tobago History with $17M being stolen in a single robbery, and One veteran Security Officer left dead. Now keep in mind this was the biggest private sector robbery, as $17M nowadays is considered petty crime in public sector/ government corruption. All jokes aside however (although the last point was more a sad reality than a bad joke), this resulted in a true tragedy, not because of the money stolen but because of the life lost. What is even more disturbing is the setting of the robbery, couple with a morally lacking social response to it.


The Circumstances of the Robbery itself indicate that it was at best gross negligence of the highest degree possible, and at worst a set up at the top level at the security company hired for transport. A man working for almost 40 years as a security officer, 1 year short of retirement, was gunned down as a sitting duck due to the manner in which he was sent to duty. The guard was sent alone with a driver; no back up, no bullet proof vest, and the money ($17 Million) in the back of what can adequately be described as a bread van; no bullet proof plating, no bullet proof glass, and no hope of fending off anything more than being pelted with a big stone. It almost seems like a scene out of a low budget comedy film, but no one is laughing over this blunder that seems less like a blunder and more like a well planned out, cash out. For public knowledge, when a company transports banks’ petty cash and float, it is in fully armoured vehicles with a team of security in bullet proof vest, and armed to the teeth. Let that sink in and think about how ridiculous the former situation (the robbery) is.

The talk about this being an inside job prompted a certain Radio DJ to ask his listeners to call in with the question “Would you have taken a cut in this to let it happen?” Much to his shock, he failed miserably in his trust of his fellow trinis, and in trying to inspire a sense of right and wrong. The majority of callers expressed that they would have taken a “cut” in the profit to look the other way, and even to help set it up. The question he posed to them constantly was “but what of the man losing his life?” Their response was that if the KNEW that someone was going to die they would not, or perhaps would but simply “go feel reel bad about it.” As the DJ expressed, “You can never know if someone would lose their life in these situations, but you can expect that it can happen.” He closed off expressing distress in the nation and the people saying to his technical person “We gone through.”

??????????????????????????????????????So this is where we are at now, and still waiting for the dust to settle while investigations are underway. The security company has a lot of questions to answer as to their lack of precautions taken in transporting the money, a family is left to mourn the end of a hard working man’s life, bandits make more money that most of us will ever hope to see, and business goes on as usual in sweet T&T. Have no fear though, the money was insured so the banks wont lose out, but perhaps we will see extra banking fees popping up all over the place (not like we’d notice with all that we have already), to up the insurance. On the positive side socially, many radio hosts have taken to the front, denouncing not only the robbery “set up” scenario, but in how the media is sidelining the issue of a man being killed over the “Big Story” of the amount stolen. This “successful” highway heist, if not sorted out and arrests made soon, will inspire bandits to hope and attempt more daring robberies…all at our expense….