Magistrate Behanzin

Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin has raised concerns over the number of Dominicans who have died or gone missing due to illicit drug activities at sea.

“Dominican criminals intercept other Dominican criminals and sink the bodies at sea. That’s what’s going on. Now whether we sit there and pretend it’s not going on that’s entirely up to us,” Behanzin said, while addressing Trafalgar residents at a forum earlier this week.

According to him, in excess of 65 persons have been reported missing at sea over some time.

“We have an estimate [of] more than 65 men missing in this country, and that is people who die at sea. So a few months ago last year, they found three men in a boat, and everybody got excited … 65 men are missing, and nobody is concerned about that. The last three in Portsmouth were juveniles … missing at sea because, the adults involved in the trade, use young people to go and runway boot,” he said.

Behanzin alluded to persons here who earn a million dollars in profit monthly from the sale of drugs and buy the loyalty of many Dominicans through financing fetes and other community activities. “Right here it’s going on. We have drug dealers who finance our children’s sports equipment. When you have these little fetes around here, they finance it … They provide security better than the council can …These criminals buy our loyalty. They prostitute us,” he said.

According to the magistrate, the amendment of the Drug Act of 1993, 16.1A states that if one is convicted of a drug trafficking offense he can be fined up to $150,000. If there is evidence of the street value of the drugs, the fine can amount to three times that value and the persons can face a maximum of 15 years prison with a minimum of seven years.