Forty-three thousand, six hundred and forty-eight dollars and ninety-six cents…
That’s the amount of cash that was on the compound of the Villa Campus of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) during the last weekend in August when burglars struck, taking the cash and other items to a total value of EC$44.278.96.
The cash was reportedly collected as registration fees from students who enrolled at the post-secondary institution.
In the immediate aftermath of the burglary, police did not disclose the sum that was missing, and college officials remain tightlipped, with director, Nigel Scott telling I-Witness News that the burglary was not newsworthy.
“That’s not a story. Surely there are things happening in the country that are more important. No comment,” Scott told I-Witness News when asked about the heist earlier this month.
But when Nicole Bailey, a 23-year-old former secretary at the college, on Saturday, became the third person to be charged with burglarising the institution, the amount of cash stolen in the heist became known.
Understandably, the question that many Vincentians are asking is why was so much cash left at the college.
Some have also asked if those responsible for the cash would be made to pay it back if the prosecution fails to secure conviction of those charged.
Bailey is charged that between Aug. 28 and 30, 2015, at Villa, she entered the SVGCC and stole a Proline digital safe valued at $480, one external hard drive, valued $150, and cash amounting to $44,278. 96, the property of the SVGCC.
She appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Monday, pleaded not guilty, and was granted EC$5,000 bail with one surety.
Bailey was ordered to report to
the Calliaqua Police Station twice weekly and was placed on a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
She was also ordered to surrender her travel documents and stop notices have been placed at all ports of entry and exit and she is prohibited from leaving the St. Vincent and the Grenadines without the consent of the court.
Last Tuesday, Sept. 15, Kamorni Antoine, a 24-year-old mason, and Shorn Cabral, 18, a labourer, both of Glen, were charged with burglarising the Community College and stealing a quantity of items valued at EC$45,955.01, the property of the college.
They appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday and were granted bail in the sum of $50,000 each and were placed on curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
They are also to surrender all travel documents.
The matter is scheduled for summary trial on Oct. 12.
What I would like to know is why the director of the college has taken it upon himself to tell us, the public, what is “news” and what is not. So $44,000+, representing registration fess paid by hard working people, was stolen from a public institution, not from Mr Scott’s personal bank account. And that is not “news” about which the public should be informed? Is Mr Scott saying that the money is irrelevant – the College doesn’t really need it? If so why do the students have to pay the fees. or perhaps he’s saying that the College does need that money, but they can go cap in hand to the government and get the equivalent from government, i.e., taxpayers’ money. And that’s not something about which the public should be informed.
I think that public officials in SVG fail to understand that they are working on behalf of the citizens of this country, whose taxes pay their salaries. As such, what happens in a public institution is indeed “News” about which the public is entitled to be informed.
Pat you must understand this is all part of the ULP revulsion which they claim is a revolution, his idea of what’s news and our idea of what’s news seems to differ.
It is of course of interest to us all because if the money is not recovered we the tax payers will end up paying for the loss.
I doubt if an insurance company would cover $45k kept in a small moveable safe over a weekend.
The students will have their receipts and they have paid so they are not the losers.
If I have to pay for this act of gross stupidity then that certainly is newsworthy.
Why? Cause the DIrector is a punk. He should be investigated for his suspicious and evasive “no comment” when contacted by the Media.
Who made the decision to keep the money on site and not to deposit it? Mr Director, were you part of the decision making to keep the money on site?
Mr Director, are you of the opinion that your money is safer under your mattress than in the bank?
Mr Director, what is more important than the college losing people hard earned money to pay for their children education? Really, how dotish can you be Mr Director.
Mr, Director, if you have any integrity, you would resign for your foolishness to the Media and for the clear act of incompetence of having such a large amount of money on site.
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