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Loyse Vincent

Seven people appeared virtually in the Tobago Magistrates’ Court to face charges associated with breaching COVID-19 regulations.

The five women and two men were among a large gathering of people who flocked at Sheppard’s Inn at Store Bay Local Road last Saturday to register for the DSS Sou Sou.

Word of the La Horqetta, Trinidad based pyramid scheme setting up shop in Tobago every Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm spread and attracted massive crowds to register.

According to police reports, the large crowd came to the attention of Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who is in the United Kingdom, through images and videos.

A release from the Police Service said he gave instructions to arrest anyone who was in breach of the COVID-19 regulations and to shut down the DSS Operation.

However Guardian Media understands that persons subsequently dispersed and waited along the Store Bay Local Road and registration continued.

The release said on arrival at the scene, a team of officers informed the crowd of that they were in breach of the Public Health Ordinance Act.

And while many of them quickly dispersed there were several persons who refused to abide, and were subsequently arrested.

These persons are

Janine Collins, 36, a waitress of Trinidad

Naomi Alexander, 21, a student of Tobago

Shevonne Hartell, 37, a manager of Tobago

Mia Charles 31, self-employed, of Tobago

Anthony Caesar, 33, a lifeguard of Tobago

Jennifer Latouche 47 self employed of Tobago

Kwesi Beckles, 42, a labourer

Following the arrest, the accused were each granted $5,000 bail by a Justice of the Peace.

They appeared before Justice Teramatia Ramdass to face the charge of being in a public place in the island of Tobago, gathered and their presence not essential or the carrying out in the provision of an essential service, Regulation 17 of a Public Health 2019 of the COVID-19 Health Regulations.

The matter was adjourned to January 14, 2021.