Taxi driver charged in million-dollar cocaine find
Courtney Baker, a 30-year-old taxi operator of Arnett Gardens, Kingston 12, has been charged in connection with the seizure of cocaine valued at $1.3 million in Olympic Gardens, Kingston 11 last Saturday.
Reports from the Narcotics Police are that about 11 a.m., Baker was driving a Toyota Probox motor car in the Olympic Gardens, when he was signalled to stop.
The vehicle was searched and a rectangular parcel containing on kilogram of cocaine was found.
He was subsequently charged with possession of cocaine, dealing in cocaine and use of conveyance.
He is scheduled to appear before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court tomorrow.
Co-accused in postal worker’s murder back in custody
Christopher Wilson, the second man charged with the brutal 2012 killing of a security official at Jamaica Post, is back in custody and could be facing additional charges.
According to law enforcement sources, Wilson was held last week with an illegal firearm and a quantity of ganja by the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard.
Wilson and another St Catherine man, Mervin Cameron, were jointly charged in 2013 with killing Barrington Davis, the deputy security chief at Jamaica Post at the time, and his female friend, Patricia Lumont-Barnswell.
Last Friday, Cameron was convicted of the murders in the Home Circuit Court.
Wilson, who was to stand trial with Cameron, has been on the run since January, when the murder trial was scheduled to start.
Prosecutors Maxine Jackson and Janek Forbes led evidence during Cameron’s murder trial that in August 2012, he and another man abducted Davis and Lumont-Barnswell from the former deputy security chief’s home in St John’s Heights in St Catherine.
Two weeks later, their decomposed bodies were found with multiple gunshot wounds in a cane field in Innswood, also in St Catherine.
Railway plans advanced, says Montague
Plans by the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC) to revive the railway passenger service are advanced, says Transport Minister Robert Montague.
“We are in the last phase of completing an arrangement with a private consortium, which will take over 34 kilometres of our right of way and rails, improve and relay the tracks, buy their own engine and coaches, and maintain the equipment and tracks,” he announced during his Sectoral Debate presentation in Parliament on Tuesday.
Additionally, he said the consortium will pay a royalty per passenger for the permit they will be provided by the JRC to undertake the operation.
He noted that the service is expected to commence on the Montpelier to Catadupa leg in St James as a tourist attraction, and eventually extended to Appleton in St Elizabeth.
“In addition, the stops along the route will have Jamaican businesses, hairdressers, vendors and craft people, all from the immediate community – no big chain stores,” Montague said, adding that repairs to buildings to be used along the routes will commence shortly.
“They are now looking at starting a railway museum, food court, kiddies’ park, and other attractions, so that while we wait on the final approval from the agency, the people can benefit,” the minister said.
US to end cruise travel to Cuba
The United States has placed a ban on cruise ships and education travel to Cuba.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the restrictions are a result of Cuba continuing “to play a destabilising role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes”.
Commercial flights from the US will continue as they “broadly support family travel and other lawful forms of travel”.
The new restrictions are part of a broader effort by the US administration to roll back the efforts by former President Barack Obama to restore normal relations between the United States and Cuba, which drew sharp criticism from the more hard-line elements of the Cuban-American community and their allies in Congress.
Cruise travel from the US to Cuba began in May 2016 and then became the most popular form of US leisure travel to the island.
Although the new restrictions took effect yesterday, the US said it will allow anyone who has already paid for the trip to go ahead with their plans.