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The easy escape

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Alleged fraudster Vicky Boodram is already stuff of legend after accomplishing one of the most daring prison escapes in the history of the country.

Helped by what looks like a rogue policeman and a few fake documents, the woman accused of dozens of fraud acts was allowed to leave prison unchecked, supposedly to be in court. There was no scheduled court appearance and she has since vanished.

Her actions may even be turned into a film or book in the future as a kind of tropical version of Leonardo di Caprio’s blockbuster Catch Me If You Can. But beyond the endless watercooler moment conversations about her escape, there’s something more serious and sinister behind the story.

It is clear that the full story is yet to unfold as either we have some of the most inept and naîve people looking after our law enforcement and prison services or there are more people involved in this disappearing act.

Whichever the outcome, what we need to know is who will be held responsible for such a blunder and what will happen to those who, in the end, failed to keep behind bars someone who was not supposed to be amongst us.

To be more blunt: we need to know from our authorities, and soon, whose head or heads will roll as a consequence of such a cinematic display of either corruption or incompetence, or a mixture of both.

The good flight

Not everyone has been supportive of Caribbean Airlines’ introduction of a new fee for those who change their booked airbridge flights. This newspaper is firmly on the airline’s management side.

We all benefit from a heavily subsidised fare for the shuttle service between the islands. The justification, and not a bad one, is that the subsidy helps make travel more affordable for all Trinbagonians, irrespective of how deep their pockets may be.

However, the subsidy created a perverse operating model for Caribbean Airlines, as it found itself selling tickets at budget prices but with fully flexible conditions attached. That means customers have no incentive whatsoever to stick to their booked slots, causing havoc with the company’s passenger yield model and sinking it into further losses, ultimately borne by all taxpayers.

Two more steps forward

This year’s Miss Jamaica Davina Bennet took the stage by storm when she wore an afro hairstyle to compete for the Miss Universe title a few days ago. In the end, she placed third but, for throngs of Afro Caribbean women, it was a victory they’d been waiting for.

On social media they expressed feelings of validation, watching the world celebrate the natural beauty of one of their own. Black women styling their hair naturally have been the exception rather than the rule; the tide is turning, though, and Davina is riding that wave. While she is special to the region, another event this week also helped change perceptions for black girls across the world, as images of Prince Harry gazing lovingly at his fiancée of African American descent showed that the gates of Buckingham Palace have become more open.

Black women now feel they can be part of the royal family and battle the beauties of the universe with their afros and all.


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