Members of the public attend the vigil on Tuesday 9 February 2021, outside the Chaguanas Market. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Businessman Robert Amar has slammed the authorities for failing to put systems in place for the regulated manufacturing of motor vehicle number plates.

Amar was vocal on Tuesday night when the group, Concerned Citizens of Chaguanas, held a candlelight vigil for women who were murdered or went missing. The event took place in front of the Chaguanas Market. 

Amar said 20 years ago there was talk that vehicle number plates should contain a scannable bar code.

“I put forward the proposal to get those number plates to carry a bar code so that a police officer could use his cell phone and point at the number plate, or you, with your cell phone, could have pointed at the number plate and learn if that number plate was real,” Amar said.

He noted there is no tender out for the supply of number plates. 

Referring to the Andrea Bharatt case, he noted that the motor car which had picked her up had false number plates.

“If the system was right, she would not have been dead today because she would not have gone into the car,” he argued.

Amar said the manufacture of copies of keys should be regulated and legislated.  He also knocked government for taking close to 60 years to open a ballistic department in Cumuto.

“We have no ballistics until two weeks ago.”

The Chaguanas candlelight vigil was also attended by Vishnu Charran, president of the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce.

Charran said the business community was feeling the pain of the loss of Andrea Bharatt.  He said the community is standing in solidarity with the family, as well as taking a stand against crime.

“To stand up and let our voices be heard in the corridors of power that enough is enough,” Charran said.

Former Chaguanas East MP, Fazal Karim, said he is standing in solidarity with the people in T&T who are standing against violence against women.  

“Women must be respected and valued.  Also, early warning signs in boys that exhibit deviant behaviour must be curtailed,” Karim said.

A spokesman for the organizers of the vigil, Concerned Citizens of Chaguanas, said the event was organized by members of the business community to stand behind the women of T&T and call for justice for those who had gone missing or were murdered. He said the vigil was a non-political event.