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Escapee Antonio Francois

The court has given the Children’s Authority approval to release the names and photographs of the five teen boys who escaped from one of the authority’s child support centre last weekend. They remained at large up to laye yesterday..

The authority said it is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the five minors–Stephan Nicholas, Antonio Francois, Semion Daniel, Stephen Antoine and Ricardo Thompson.

The boys, ages 15 and 16, are from Diego Martin, St James, Laventille, Curepe and the Siparia areas.

The teenagers reportedly escaped from the north facility some time between last week 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.

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

When contacted for comment, the Authority confirmed the escape and added that investigations are ongoing and that the Authority “is working closely with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to recover the boys.”

The authority’s public education and 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. According to Section 47 of the Children Act, 2012 “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.

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