Image courtesy Children’s Authority.
RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

In a bid to locate the five teen boys who escaped from one of the Children’s Authority’s Child Support Centres over the weekend, all of whom remain at large, the Court has given approval for the Authority to release photographs and the names of three of the teens, so far.

In addition to two other minors, the Children’s Authority is asking the public’s assistance in locating Semion Daniel, Stephen Antoine and Ricardo Thompson.

The five boys, who are 15 and 16 years of age, are from Diego Martin, St James, Laventille, Curepe and Siparia.

The Authority is awaiting further permission from the Court to disclose photographs and names of the other two teens who absconded.

Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts should contact the Children’s Authority Hotlines at 996 or 800-2014; or the Police at 999.

Police said the teenagers escaped from the north facility at some time between Friday night and Saturday morning.

An official at the centre contacted the police on Saturday at about 11:45 am to report that the five boys were discovered missing after making routine checks.

Guardian Media understands CCTV footage viewed by investigating officers disclosed that the boys escaped the facility by passing through burglar proofed bars in a room on the western side of the building.

When contacted for comment, the Children’s Authority confirmed the escape and added that investigations are ongoing.

“The Authority is working closely with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to recover the boys,” the Authority confirmed.

Public Education & Communications Manager, Cheryl Moses-Williams, has advised all families and friends of the boys who absconded over the weekend, to call the Police at 999 or the Authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014, if they contact them or receive information about their location.

“The Authority wishes to remind the public that it is illegal to conceal the whereabouts of a child who has absconded,” Moses-Williams said.

She pointed to Section 47 of the Children Act 2012, which states:

“Where a person—(a) knowingly assists or induces, directly or indirectly, a child to escape from the person to whose care he is committed; or (b) knowingly harbours, conceals or prevents a child who has so escaped from returning to such person, or knowingly assists in so doing, is liable on summary conviction, to a fine of three thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months.”

Moses-Williams said that since the incident, the Authority has taken the necessary corrective action to improve security at the Centres.