He was commenting on the recent murders of Shirui Zhao and Yanli Gu who were shot dead by two gunmen after they drove into the car park of Kosume bar at New Haven Avenue in Marabella on Thursday evening.
Head of the San Fernando Business Association, Daphne Bartlett, also expressed alarm at the murders and was worried about crime against the Chinese.
In a telephone interview, yesterday, Al-Rawi said the entire nation was facing a “serious” issue regarding crime which stemmed from the country’s porous borders. “There is a serious issue with relation to crime and we have to recognise that with the previously very porous borders (that) we have had to take a very different approach,” he said, “So the lockdown of the borders… it only happened with our government coming into effect and there have been some serious drug interdictions.” “There is also the need to clamp down, which we are dealing with, in relation to casinos and gaming and exposures because many of these businesses are cash businesses and therefore there is an exposure for criminality to go to work, which is why we are progressing with the legislation as quickly as we are,” he said “There are general issues of concern right around,” the AG said.
Al-Rawi noted that the key when dealing with victims of crime was to “really have respect, to provide support and to try and organise the solution. The solution in this instance is multi-pronged- it is making sure there are regular patrols and policing.
It involves ensuring that persons who run cash businesses like gaming, like the liquor mart, those things are managed by having legitimate bank accounts.” “Legitimate back accounts happen when you have the ability to have your gaming industry regulated so that bank accounts can be opened,” he said.
Meanwhile, police investigators are working on several theories including one which linked the double murder to the killing of Riverside Road, Marabella resident Everton Moses, 35, on Tuesday night. Moses was shot in the head and abdomen.
Thirty spent shells were recovered on the scene.
Investigators believe the same type of high powered weapons were used given the large number of spent shells which had been recovered at both crime scenes.
Reacting yesterday to a suggestion that the deaths of the two Chinese victims may have been a hit, Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon said, “I am not aware of that. I don’t have that information.” When Sunday Newsday revisited Marabella yesterday both the Kosume bar at New Haven Avenue and the E World Club and Liquor Bank, Tarouba remained closed. A resident said the area had regular police patrols and expressed shock that the murders could have occurred in the late evening hours.
Bartlett described the murders as “saddening” saying the association could no longer explain why the crime situation was out of control.
“Why is there such a breakdown of law and order in our country,” Bartlett said. “What is the detection rate. We keep asking that over and over. Why is (it) that we cannot increase our detection rate? What is the problem?” “You are seeing a lot of crimes being committed against the Chinese community. What is going on? We don’t have an explanation,” she said. “It’s a saddening thing that someone could come to live in your country with permission and then somebody kills them for whatever reason. Why is that? What is really going on? Can anyone explain to us the whole sociological problem we are having also, and I don’t know if people are seeing the Chinese community as coming and overtaking business in Trinidad. I don’t know, I have no idea.
“We are going to end up being a failed state.
We (are) heading in that direction and we do not want that, Trinidad is too beautiful a country for us to let it go to rack and ruin.”
* June 15: Businessman Shirui Zhao and his employee Yanli Gu gunned down in the car park of Kosume bar, New Haven Avenue, Marabella.
* June 13: Francis Lee Lon, 67, and his wife Sylvie, 77, robbed at their Fourth Street, Barataria home by three men. The couple handed over cash and jewellery valued at $13,530 and were tied up.
They untied themselves and alerted the police. The three bandits and getaway driver were held and the stolen items recovered.
* November 2016: Restaurant owner Wei Hui Zhu, 31, of Soledad Road, Claxton Bay was robbed at his home of $400,000 by three armed men dressed in police tactical gear. Six police officers were later held for the robbery.
* June 2016: Rich Knights Huang, 22, was at his Bel Air, La Romaine when he was attacked by four masked men armed with a gun and a cutlass.
He was struck on the head by one of the bandits and a vault containing $80,000 was stolen.
* February 2016: Xing Xia, 30, was shot in her right eye during an attempted robbery at the family owned CNA supermarket in New Grant. Eight months later there was a second robbery at the supermarket and on this occasion three men were held.
* January 2016: La Horquetta businessman Chong Cao, 30, was gunned down outside his restaurant off South Tumpuna Road, La Horquetta.
* April 2015: Hi Hong Huang, 35, was fatally shot outside his business, Happiness Supermarket, off the Southern Main Road, Curepe, as he was entering the premises from a panel van which he had parked with a sum of money in a box. Four people, including two women, were held for the murder.
* October 2012: Xino Seu, 44, walked out of his business in Tacarigua and was confronted by a man armed with a knife who demanded cash and valuables.
There was a struggle and Xino was stabbed twice in the neck and had to be hospitalised.
* October 2012: Chang Xia Oseng, 33, became the fourth Chinese person to be murdered for 2012 when he was fatally shot inside his business the Golden Girl Chinese Restaurant.
* September 2012: Three people were robbed by two thieves, one armed with a gun, at Flourishing Supermarket at Cipero Road, Retrench Village, San Fernando.
Li Mei Xia, 31, was robbed of $1,500 cash; Ma Jing Shun, 43, was robbed of $2,900; and Wei Chao Hong, 43, was robbed of $3,500 worth of cigarettes.
* July 2012: Wu Xiu Hua, 60, was shot dead by a bandit at her business place Tiger’s Chinese Restaurant in Cunupia.
Her husband Yang Jiang Hua, also 60, was also shot in the incident and died at hospital the following day. The family of the murder victims had announced plans to return to China. The Chinese Embassy issued a statement appealing to the government “to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals and their properties in Trinidad and Tobago.” * January 2012: Yu Quan Ue, 22, was killed following an argument outside Wing Hong Restaurant, in Chaguanas.
* April 2011: Happy Garden restaurant owner, Xue Hua Shan, 31, was abducted a few metres from her Seventh Street, Barataria home. Eleven days later Anthony Chin, 61, was shot dead in front his restaurant, The China Palace, Ellerslie Plaza, Maraval.
At the time police had linked both cases.