Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Jamaica

Newsline: White powder found at Jamaican Embassy in Washington deemed non-hazardous

A suspicious substance found Tuesday in an envelope at the Jamaican Embassy was not hazardous, authorities said, as they reopened a street at Dupont Circle that had been closed for more than 90 minutes. The closure of both lanes of the 1500 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW, where the embassy is located, caused lunch-hour backups near dozens of restaurants and businesses. D.C. firefighters responded about 12:30 p.m. and reopened the street a short time after 2 p.m., said Brian Leary, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. A D.C. fire department spokesman confirmed that the envelope contained white powder.



Newsline: Ecuador to open embassy in Kingston

Ecuador has expressed its intention to establish an embassy in Kingston, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade A.J. Nicholson has disclosed. Nicholson, while admitting that his Government has welcomed the proposal, said the country could reap significant benefits from such a move. “The establishment of that embassy will serve to strengthen our hand in the Latin America and Caribbean integration push. Once that embassy is established, it is going to open up new or other avenues to the integration movement that is under way in Latin America and the Caribbean. The more countries that have embassies in Jamaica and the more countries within which we have embassies it certainly will push the movement closer,” Nicholson said. The minister was however unable to give a timeline as to when the embassy would be set up, adding that a number of issues will have to be ironed out first. He said, however that it was his belief that it would not take a long time before to plans come to fruition.


Newsline: Former US Embassy security chief sentencing put off to June 10

The former security chief at the United States Embassy in Kingston who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a Jamaican entertainer is to wait awhile longer to know his fate. David Rainsberger should have been sentenced on Friday, but the hearing was put off. The matter had to be put off because the defense layer told the court the time was not convenient and asked for the sentencing to be rescheduled. The sentencing has now been set for June 10. Rainsberger is facing a total of seven years in prison for pleading guilty to receiving unlawful gratuities and making false statements to US authorities. He made the admission in February. Court records reveal that the former security chief befriended the well-known entertainer, identified only as DB. The entertainer had been barred from entering the US because of allegations of criminal conduct. Rainsberger’s investigation of the entertainer resulted in the reinstatement of DB’s visa. In return for his assistance, court records say he received two luxury watches from the entertainer as well as a birthday party hosted by DB and free admission to nightclubs.


Newsline: US Embassy Officer Pleads Guilty to Accepting “Gratuities” in Jamaica

A law enforcement officer with the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service has pleaded guilty to accepting “unlawful gratuities” from a Jamaican entertainer and making false statements while stationed at the US Embassy in Kingston. The news was announced by US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride and Gregory Starr, director of the Diplomatic Security Service for the US State Department. David Rainsberger, who was stationed as an assistant regional security officer for investigations at the US Embassy in Kingston from 2009 to 2011, faces a maximum of two years in prison on the gratuities charge and five years in prison on the false statements charge. He is slated to be sentenced Apr. 19. According to court records, Rainsberger befriended what the Department of Justice described as a “well-known Jamaican musician” whose entry to the US had been barred because of allegations of criminal conduct. Rainsberger’s investigation of the individual resulted in the reinstatement of his visa, which allowed the reggae star to travel to the US to “take advantage of performance and recording opportunities.” “On account of the assistance Rainsberger provided him with respect to his US visa, the musician purchased for Rainsberger two luxury watches worth approximately $2,500,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a release. “In addition, Rainsberger received free admission to nightclubs, backstage access to concerts, and a birthday party hosted by the musician.” The government said Rainsberger also “repeatedly accessed, without authority, Department of State visa and passport databases for personal purposes.” His guilty plea was accepted by US District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Court records did not specifically name the singer.


Newsline: No parking near US Embassy, Canadian High Commission in Jamaica

The traffic police are to enforce a strict no-parking rule in the immediate vicinity of both the United States (US) Embassy and the Canadian High Commission, in St Andrew. “On Monday we started to sensitise motorists about this no-parking rule and yesterday we started to enforce it,” Senior Superintendent of Police Radcliffe Lewis told The Gleaner. “We made the decision because of traffic congestion and more importantly because of security concerns,” added Lewis. “Any vehicle which is parked in any of these areas will be towed to the Kingston and St Andrew pound,” said Lewis. “Persons doing business at any of these two premises will have to park elsewhere, because we will be strict.”


Newsline: Six months or $10,000 for lying to US embassy

A woman who presented a forged document to the United States embassy was ordered to pay $10,000 or serve a six month sentence when she appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Police say the woman Nastasha Bogle, presented a falsified bank statement when she applied for a US Visa. Investigations revealed that the document was fake and Bogle was arrested and charged.


Consular affairs: Suspected Jamaican human trafficker nabbed at US embassy

The lives of 17 Jamaican children in the United States may today be in danger after they were adopted and shipped off to that country by a woman the local police believe may be part of a major human trafficking ring operating between both countries. Local police, with the help of US law enforcement officials, are currently trying to track down the children, aged between five and 16. Detectives believe that more than the 17 children could well have been victims of the illicit trade. The human trafficking scheme was uncovered last week after the woman — a 53-year-old resident of Pleasant District in Bog Walk, St Catherine — was arrested by the Flying Squad at the United States Embassy in Kingston where she had presented forged documents in an effort to secure a US visa for a 16-year-old girl whom she had recently adopted. Detectives believe that the woman had been operating the scheme for about two years before she was arrested. According to the source, the accused, when cautioned, told the police that she was being paid J$60,000 for each child she sent to the United States. So far, she has been charged with forging adoption papers. However, the woman could be slapped with human trafficking charges as detectives deepen that aspect of their investigation.