Police wrapping up investigation into omicron passenger, Ocean Pelican

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


The Ocean Pelican docked at Chaguaramas. – SUREASH CHOLAI

INVESTIGATORS are this week expected to complete their investigation of the woman who entered Trinidad and Tobago with the covid19 omicron variant.

Newsday understands that this coming week, investigations are expected to be completed after which it will be determined if the woman is to be charged with any offence.

The woman was interviewed by police last week and her statement recorded.

Investigations are being led by ACP Williams.

On December 13, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the first omicron case in TT had been found in a woman who left New York on December 9 and entered the country through Panama.

He said she was allowed to board the flight in New York despite having a positive test. She presented to local authorities a negative antigen test which she took in Panama.

Deyalsingh said 14 passengers had to be quarantined as a result of her actions.

The sample was retrieved on December 10, and the findings were presented on the evening of December 11. “The individual was flagged at the airport, and once the individual was flagged our protocols worked, and hats off to our Port health workers, and the person was sent immediately to a step-down facility. So, at no point in time was anybody in the general public, her family, village, community exposed to her,” he said. The penalty for falsifying information on a TTravelPass is six months in prison and a fine of $350,000 or six months’ imprisonment upon summary conviction. Newsday also understands investigations into the December 26 event on the Ocean Pelican were also ongoing and investigators are also expected to approach the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice on whether any public health restrictions were breached.

The Ocean Pelican is owned by businessman Adrian Scoon, son of Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon. He claimed he received permission to operate the vessel as a “floating restaurant”and had adhered to all safe-zone protocols. Two special licences were subsequently voided by the comptroller of the Customs and Excise Division after questions were raised on who authorised them when Finance Minister Colm Imbert said he did not give his approval. The matter is expected to go to court soon.