Head of the Criminal Investigation Department Assistant Superintendent of Police Sydney James says police were this week unable to charge two Trinidadian suspects with pickpocket related offences because their alleged victims were mainly visitors and had already left St. Vincent.
Detectives had taken the two Trinidadian men into custody during the carnival activities as they investigated reports of pickpocketing in Kingstown.
The two, 60-year-old Wilfred Roach and 58-year old Peter Balgar, were held days after they arrived for the country’s biggest cultural festival which ended on Tuesday.
I-Witness News understands that the men had thousands of dollars in cash in various currencies, which the police took into their possession as they investigated the reports.
Police said that on July 3 they executed a search warrant at the apartment where Roach and Balgar were staying at a guesthouse in Kingstown Park.
During a search, they found 45 grammes of marijuana under the mattress of the bed on which Roach claimed he slept and they also found six grammes of the said substance under the mattress of the bed on which Balgar claimed he slept.
Both were arrested and charged for marijuana possession.
When Roach and Balgar appeared before the court in Kingstown on Wednesday, they pleaded guilty to their respective charge. Roach was fined EC$800 forthwith with an alternative sentence of three months in prison. Balgar was fined EC$200 forthwith with an alternative sentence of two weeks in prison.
The Trinidadians were represented by Israel Bruce, who made an application to the court for an order instructing the police to release whatever property they had taken from the visitors.
He said that their fines could be paid from the monies held by the police and that would ensure they were able to return to their country speedily.
The order was granted.
Bruce said that Roach was a father of seven and grandfather of nine and that he came to St. Vincent on June 27, to be part of the carnival activities. He also said that his other client, Balgar, came to St. Vincent on June 28, for the carnival activities.