June 25, 2013

Female former police informant desperately seeking help

A former police informant, who had to flee this country in fear of losing her life, is now pleading desperately with local authorities for help.{{more}}

In an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT, the woman, whom we will call “N”, said after putting her life on the line in the interest of her country, her requests for assistance are being ignored by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, and recently, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller.

N, who had, for some time, been providing the police with intelligence on wanted criminals, gang members and drug lords, said her life changed early in May 2009, when she tried to assist a young woman who had become involved with a known convict.

“This guy and his affiliates wouldn’t let me walk the streets in peace. Every time they see me they would give me the gun sign with their finger, hurl words at me like, ‘informer fuh dead, you belong six foot under’,” N recounted.

She said if she attended a public event and was seen by one member of the convict’s group, that person would call the others, who would then position themselves close to her.

N said if she looked their way, they would point to their eyes then to her, letting her know that their eyes were on her.

The woman, who is a mother, said once, when she was at Heritage Square, she had to call the Rapid Response Unit for assistance, after a confrontation with the group.

The man and his cronies did not stop at harassment, however.

In June 2009, a hit man was brought in from overseas to kill N.

N’s claim about the hit man is supported by documentation provided by Commissioner of Police Keith Miller to immigration authorities in a foreign country. SEARCHLIGHT obtained a copy of that document.

“My life got worse; I literally lived in fear,” N said.

“I couldn’t go to my normal job for fear of my life, and I couldn’t tell no one why. I was placed on sick leave. Believe it or not I came, very, very close to a nervous breakdown. I wasn’t eating properly, wasn’t sleeping properly, an hour or two here and there; the least noise would wake me. I was jumpy. My migraines came more frequent. And in all this, I was worried for my kids; I couldn’t tell them anything.

“It was overwhelming. I couldn’t live my life. I couldn’t be me. With all this happening to me, I decided to go overseas for a holiday to get away from my problem for a while. I went by my sister. I must admit the Commissioner kept in constant contact. He would call me two or three times a week,” N said.

However, while N was overseas, she got a call from the Commissioner who told her not to come back to SVG.

According to N, the Commissioner told her the suspected hit man had been caught, but he had to be let go, before the investigation had been completed.

“He’s gone underground; we can’t find him. He had a Vincentian passport, ID and birth paper. When we called in the lady listed under Mother, she informed us that she doesn’t have a son by that name. Don’t come back; its not safe,” N said Miller told her.

N’s account is supported by the details given in the Commissioner’s letter to overseas immigration authorities.

“I was at a loss, my kids, my life, my home was in SVG. A few days later in another conversation with the Commissioner, I then told him I can’t just stay here. How will I survive? I can’t work. He then said he would send me a letter to take to the relevant authorities. This letter was hand delivered by an officer,” N said.

“With all this happening, it is safer for [N] to be out of the country pending all investigations,” the Commissioner wrote to the overseas authorities.

Miller, in support of N’s application for asylum, also disclosed that over the years, N had provided the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force with “useful information”. He said her information had led to the arrest and deportation of known felons who had been wanted in their home countries for “many vicious crimes committed there.”

The Commissioner also said that N had gained the trust of gang members and assisted the police in collecting vital information on drug lords in SVG.

N said after a security assessment had been conducted by law enforcement where she was staying, she was informed that she was not safe in that island, and they would not advise her to live there.

“Because of the seriousness of the matter and the entourage that came to my sister’s house, at that point I had to tell her. Now she was scared and I couldn’t do that to my favourite sister,” N said.

“I had to leave yet another comfort, that of my sister’s home and journey to another island, where I have no family or friend,” N recounted sadly.

She travelled to another island where she applied for asylum.

N said the next nine months of her life were hell.

“I didn’t have a job because I couldn’t work without the proper papers. Did the Government offer me any financial assistance for relocating and having to give up what I gave up? NO!”

N said she thanks God for her relatives who assisted her, even though things were hard with them financially.

“I would never forget some days, not even money to buy bottled water to drink. I would pray for rain to come so I could catch some water to boil and drink.

“Did I need this added stress after being forced from my children, my homeland, my job etc? No! Did I try to reach out to the relevant authority? Yes, I did. On several occasions over the years, I have called the Prime Minister both at his office and his home. I left my name and number at his house, never got a call to this day. Was I ever helped financially by the government? No! It’s been four years since I have last seen my children,” N lamented.

She said although her children have been approved by immigration authorities to join her, she is unable to pay for the expenses associated with processing their papers.

“Is the government expressing any interest to help me get to see my children? No! Abandoned and forgotten,” the obviously distressed woman said.

She said recently, one of her children had to renew a passport, but not even the fee for this was waived.

“While I am grateful my life was spared, I feel betrayed by my government and country. I am missing out on milestones in my children’s life,” N said.

The emotional woman said two things that happend recently hurt her “to the core”, and caused her, after four years of silence, to let the public know about her plight.

“My youngest graduated recently and in conversing with the Commissioner, I told him about it and told him I was trying to get someone to videotape it for me, but their equipment was down. He told me he would see what he could do. Two days before the event, I reminded him, via text message. No response. One day before, I reminded him. No response. On the day, I reminded him. No response.

“I’m forced to leave my land of my birth, my home of … years; no form of assistance was ever offered to me and not even one of the many milestones in my child’s life could you have made the extra effort to have me share?” N told SEARCHLIGHT with obvious emotion in her voice.

She said she is also upset by news reports that the government has spent over EC$300,000 to assist a young man who had been injured in a vehicular accident.

“What about me and my sufferings, PM? What about me not being able to see my children for four years? Where is the state assistance for my family and me, so that we can continue living as a family, the way we were? No amount of money can ever repay me for every second I’ve lost spending with my children,” a frustrated N said.

“You spent over EC$300,000 on this young man because the government has a heart, or it was a convenient political heart? What about the future of my … young children and I? You can’t leave a young man to die, but you can leave my family and me to suffer? Yet, you have a heart? What about my life and that of my children that was abruptly disrupted because I was doing what was right?

“And still up to today, not even a dollar from the state,” N sobbed.