UPDATE: According to Police, two (2) off-duty Police Officers observed a group of four (4) men running from Archie’s Supermarket. Two (2) of the men were holding firearms and when confronted by the off-duty Police Officers, there was an exchange of gunfire. One bandit was shot in his leg and was unable to escape. Another was shot in his stomach but managed to escape with the others.
A bandit was shot outside of a Chinese Mini Mart in Santa Cruz some time before 10am on Thursday 31st October 2019 after he allegedly robbed the establishment. The man appears to be local singer ‘Vers’ from the Santa Cruz area. Details are still sketchy but reports indicate he was shot by an off-duty Police Officer. It is unclear if other bandits were involved in the robbery.
Watch the video below which was taken moments after the shooting and stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE: Former Energy Minister, Kevin Ramnarine, has shared his thoughts about Unipet in a Facebook post:
I have always known Unipet to be a responsible and professional company. Their actions today means things have reached an unbearable point. I know that many stations under the NP banner are in the same situation but I suspect they are wary of the repercussions of any protest. The situation has reached this point because of the increase in Business Levy and Green Fund Levy in 2016 and the increase in the price of fuel at the pump in the last four years. The increased levies have eaten away at what profits the stations were making. At the same time costs have increased - security, insurance, labour, regulatory compliance etc. These factors combine to make service stations un-economic. The bigger issue is the risk to the entire fuel distribution network of two wholesalers (NP and Unipet) and the 140 stations (115 NP and 25 Unipet). Add to this the uncertainty around the future of Paria Fuel Trading and you have the making of a situation that places the population and the economy at serious risk.
Despite the best efforts of Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum (NP) to avoid chaos at the nation’s Gas Stations, many drivers were greatly inconvenienced on Tuesday 29th October 2019 due to the closure of several Unipet Gas Stations. They were also met with long lines at many NP Gas Stations, creating gridlock traffic in surrounding areas.
Pictured Above: Long lines at an NP Gas Station in Chaguanas.
Unipet has addressed the chaotic situation by releasing a statement that puts the blame squarely on the Regulator for “not providing sustainable margins to the industry.” They have also pledged to re-open Unipet Gas Stations at 6am on Wednesday 30th October 2019. Unipet Gas Stations affected today include locations at Santa Cruz, Charlieville, Freeport, Cocorite, Chaguanas and Couva, among others.
See their statement below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
In an effort to reduce our operating costs, Unipet and some members of the Petroleum Dealers Association (PDA) cut back their operations today with gas stations scheduled to re-open on Wednesday 29th October at 6:00 am. This is in an attempt to trim operating costs which have been severely impinged by the Regulator not providing sustainable margins to the industry.
Pictured Above: Sign posted at Unipet Gas Station in Santa Cruz
UPDATE 3: Unipet has released a statement, addressing the closure of several of its Gas Stations.
UPDATE 2: As of 2:30pm, three (3) Unipet Gas Stations are closed in the Chaguanas area: Montrose, Brentwood and Medford. A fourth Gas Station (NP) in the vicinity of Busy Corner in Chaguanas has long lines backed up onto the roadway (pictured below at 2:15pm).
UPDATE: Reports indicate that several Unipet Gas Stations have been closed today, forcing drivers to seek alternative locations to get fuel. Stay tuned for further updates.
Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum (NP) is urging citizens to not panic-buy fuel at the nation’s Gas Stations today, Tuesday 29th October 2019, as they are re-assuring the public of a continuous and reliable fuel supply. Their statement comes as reports are being circulated on Social Media that many Gas Stations will be closed today. Panic-buying can of course lead to actual fuel shortages when there weren’t any shortages to begin with.
See the Press Release from NP below and stay tuned for updates.
NP has been made aware of a report circulating on social media regarding the proposed shutdown of fuel operations on Tuesday 2019 October 29th by some Service Stations.
UPDATE (28/10/19 - 10am): The Met Office forecast for today says we can expect light to moderate showers in various locations with the medium to high chance that a few of these showers can become heavy and thundery. Gusty winds, Street and/or Flash Flooding can occur in areas under heavy showers and Thunderstorms.
A wet week is forecast ahead for T&T as Tropical Waves 58 and 59 are expected to bring showers and Thunderstorms on Monday 28th to Tuesday 29th October 2019 and Friday 1st to Saturday 2nd November 2019, respectively. In between the passage of both Tropical Waves, lingering moisture will fuel afternoon showers and Thunderstorms across parts of both islands, mainly Northern and Western areas, on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st October 2019.
The Met Office has issued a Hazardous Seas Alert (Yellow Level) for the majority of this week.
According to T&T Weather Center:
With the passage of Tropical Wave 58 on Monday into Tuesday, and Tropical Wave 59 Friday into Saturday, we are forecasting a relatively wet week ahead. But these showers and Thunderstorms will be isolated to scattered during the passages of the Tropical Waves and mostly isolated Wednesday and Thursday, interrupting partly cloudy skies and favoring the afternoon hours. There are no tropical threats to T&T as of today’s tropical update.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the week as we monitor these Tropical Waves.
UPDATE (31/10/19): The Met Office has extended its Hazardous Seas Alert to 2pm on Monday 4th November 2019. Eastern areas have been removed from the Alert, but caution is still advised in those areas.
UPDATE (29/10/19): For sea-bathers, fishermen, and small craft operators, the Met Office continues to advise that near-shore coastal sea conditions should be carefully monitored and caution exercised along affected areas. Anyone venturing out to sea should be alert for dangerous breaking waves and currents. It is also important to follow all instructions from Lifeguards.
Beach-goers should take note that the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service has issued a Hazardous Seas Alert (Yellow Level) from 11am on Sunday 27th October to 2pm on Saturday 2nd November 2019.
Long-period North-Easterly Swells are forecast to affect near-shore activity in Northern, sheltered and to a lesser extent Eastern coastal areas. Effects are usually in the form of occasional battering waves, which can lead to disruption to sea-bathing and other near-shore coastal activities. In some cases, mild Coastal Flooding and damage/erosion is also possible. Spring Tides are also in effect, which will enhance near-shore impacts during high tides.
Beach and coastal erosion are likely, particularly along Northern and sheltered coastlines. Overall, there is a high risk of rip currents and large waves at beaches through next Saturday, so disruptions to beach-goers and marine interests are expected.
See the Hazardous Seas Alert from the Met Office below and stay tuned for updates.
According to Police, a device resembling a Grenade was discovered under a BMW owned by Sheron Sukhdeo’s Widow, Rachael, at approximately 8:30am on Friday 25th October 2019. Sheron’s Auto was recently relocated from Caroni Savannah Road to Almond Drive in Endeavour, Chaguanas.
Rachel, who now operates the Used Car Dealership, was away on vacation when an employee moved a BMW from its parking spot and noticed the suspicious device. Upon contacting the Chaguanas Police Station, Officers Soon arrived and cordoned off the area. Bomb Experts later arrived on the scene and safely removed the device for forensic testing.
Since the killing of Sheron Sukhdeo at his family’s home in Charlieville on 26th March 2018, his brother, Sheldon, his brother-in-law Phillip Bassant and a few of his close associates have also been killed. Sheron left millions of dollars worth of assets, the majority of which is believed to have been inherited by Rachael.
Today’s news did not appear to bother Rachael much, as she shared an Instagram post of herself on vacation in a pool several hours after the incident. She even used the hashtag “#unbothered” in the post for good measure. It’s important to note that Rachael managed to escape death earlier this year in May, when gunmen opened fire in her direction as she exited a Club at Heartland Plaza in Chaguanas.
See Rachael’s latest Instagram post below and stay tuned for updates.
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