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Four Cité La Cure Residents Arrested For Theft Of Sandalwoods

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Several Metropolitan Police units from the northern division were mobilized during the day on Thursday October 5 to mount an operation on the slopes of Caroline mountain in Vallée des Prêtres. This followed reports of the destruction of plants protected under the Forest and Reserve Act.  Several tools and freshly cut and uprooted plants were found at this location. Four suspects were arrested. They are Jean Nowan Kinsley Larose, a 22-year-old bricklayer, Jean Daniel Raphaël, a 19-year-old bricklayer, Gregory François, 19, and Franco Genave, known as Franco, a 30-year-old fisherman.

It was after receiving information about illegal activities on the side of Caroline Mountain, Vallée des Prêtres where individuals were seen cutting sandalwood that Assistant Superintendent of Police Subhas Domun, the Divisional Operations’ Room Manager at Abercrombie Police Station, Sainte Croix set up an operation with the help of men from the Divisional Crime Intelligence Unit, the Special Team, two Forestry Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and men from the Divisional Supporting Unit among others.

Two individuals were caught at this location sitting next to several tools, other equipment and freshly cut and uprooted sandalwood plants.  The two men were identified as Kinsley Larose and Jean Daniel Raphaël. They were questioned and charged with the offence of destruction of protected plants under section 41 of the Forest and Reserve Act.

sandalwood theft

Both suspects were asked to declare, “pa zis nou de, ena enkor la, tou bisin trape”. Jean Daniel Raphaël added, “missie nou camarade Franco ki finn amenn nou la pou koup bann dibwa sandal la”. At the same time, Sergeant Blackburn and Constable Moosajee were to apprehend Gregory François, who had come to retrieve his motorcycle parked on the main road. He remained mute under questioning. Shortly afterwards, when he saw suspects Kinsley Larose and Jean Daneil Raphaël, he had to say, “avek sa bann la mem mo ti pe koup dibwa en ba”.

The suspects told police about three motorcycles on which they arrived, including a Yamaha, a Kawasaki and a Honda. The fourth suspect, Franco Genave, was apprehended by members of the public and handed over to the police. Four suspects were taken to the Abercrombie, St. Croix police station and taken into custody.  Exhibits, motorcycles, weapons and sandalwood were also seized.

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