Gangsters evict family
By DARCEL CHOY Thursday, August 8 2013
BRAZEN gangsters have evicted a 62-year-old man, his daughter and five-year-old granddaughter from their east Port-of-Spain Housing Development Corporation (HDC) apartment home. The family is now begging the HDC to find them a new home.
Nolan Sandy visited Newsday’s Chacon Street, Port-of-Spain head-office yesterday with his tale of woe saying he and his family were forced out of their apartment last week Tuesday. Sandy said he has lived at Building 62, Duncan Street for the past 14 years.
All of that changed when he started to receive death threats from gangsters in the area who wanted the use of his apartment and who ordered him to move out.
Sandy said he ignored the orders and death threats and remained in the apartment with his daughter and her child. But in the days that followed the gangsters’ death threats, Sandy said, two men attempted to break into the apartment by slipping through burglar proofing. Sandy said he was able to scare off the men.
After that incident, Sandy related, he continued to receive death threats and made a decision to get his family out of the apartment to stay at the home of a friend. When he returned to his home on Saturday, Sandy said he found the apartment broken into.
What was worse, Sandy said, was the fact that over $46,000 worth of household items were stolen from his home including a computer, a flat screen television, a microwave and stereo system. To add insult to injury, the intruders removed all of Sandy’s furniture from the apartment and out in the yard at the back of the apartment building.
Sandy said he has nowhere else to go and his furniture yesterday remained outside exposed to the elements. Fearing for his life, Sandy has not moved his furniture back into the apartment nor returned to the apartment.
In frustration at the high-handed action of the gangsters, Sandy said he visited the HDC’s Port-of-Spain office and told officials about his virtual eviction but was told that his claims would have to be investigated first. Further, when he requested an alternative HDC accommodation, he was told there are no vacant apartments available.
“Right now all I have is the clothes on my back. My daughter and my granddaughter are staying by friends. I am sleeping wherever I can rest my head. But I am an old man and I should not have to be going through this. Something needs to be done because these men, these thugs can’t put me out of my own home just so. Who they think they are? They are not the HDC,” Sandy said.
It was only on Monday last that Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal, under whose ministry the HDC falls, said he has asked the National Security Minister Emmanuel George to assist in removing illegal occupants, including gangsters, from HDC apartments in places such as east Port-of-Spain, Cashew Gardens in Chaguanas and Tarodale in San Fernando.
The minister said persons who were the legal occupants of the apartments and homes and were forcibly removed will begin to see affirmative action before the end of this week. “Whatever they plan to do I hope it is done soon because we really have nowhere else to go,” Sandy said.
HDC managing director Jearlean John, when contacted yesterday, said she will meet with Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson today to come up with a proper plan of action.
“The HDC has identified the units where there have been complaints and we are looking to see who are the legitimate tenants so there can be a verification exercise. We have to find out whether the people who are supposed to be in these units are there and if they are not, we have to find out why,” John said. Regarding Sandy’s situation, John said the HDC can’t relocate everyone with such complaints because the corporation does not have the capacity to do it.