Coast Guard officers intercepted a pleasure craft with 14 people on board last Thursday including the head of the police legal unit.
But the director of legal Christian Chandler said on Saturday he was not arrested for allegedly breaching covid19 regulations after the vessel he was on was stopped by the Coast Guard off the coast of Chaguaramas.
According to a media release, 14 people were escorted to the Coast Guard headquarters, Staubles Bay, in Chaguaramas after they received information that a pleasure craft had more than five people on board, allegedly contrary to the health regulations which limits the number of people to gather in public.
The release stated that the vessel had eight women and six men on board near Pier 1, just after 8 pm, who were all handed over to the police after the Coast Guard boarded the vessel. The release said investigations by the police are ongoing.
Sunday Newsday understands the vessel, Not Guilty, also had on board police officers.
Both the head of the Coast Guard Captain Don Polo and public affairs officer Lt Khadijah Lamy, referred to the press release when contacted on Saturday by Sunday Newsday for clarity. They said they could not say any more as the matter was now being investigated by the police.
Asked about reports that he had breached the covid19 regulations and was arrested Chandler said: “I was never arrested that is totally false and further at no time did I ever breach the covid19 regulations. This story is just a matter of persons who are hell bent on slandering my name and creating conjecture.”
Chandler has often spoken publicly on laws and circumstances relating to the enforcement of public health regulations in place to prevent the spread of covid19 alongside Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith at Police Administration Building.
Contacted for comment, Griffith denied that his legal adviser was arrested and made no further comment saying the matter was currently under investigation.
Sunday Newsday also sought clarity on the issue from Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. The Attorney General said even though there may be more than five in a vehicle or any mode of transport, as long as they are not without mask then there is no offence committed.
Asked specifically about Chandler’s situation, Al-Rawi said he will not comment on that as that is an ongoing investigation and will not comment without having full facts.
“Going on a boat to your island home is perfectly lawful. Rafting up and having a party is not. The transportation to your island home is perfectly lawful. Getting in your car and going somewhere is totally lawful. As I told you it really depends on the circumstances of what you’re dealing with.”
Al-Rawi said that only public transportation vehicles are mandated to operate at 75 per cent while all others can operate at full capacity, including vessels.