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Antigua and Barbuda Gov’t declares ‘war on crime’ at meeting with Syrian community in wake of murder


By Shermain Bique-Charles

Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua Observer) – The government and the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) have given the Syrian community and the public by extension the assurance that they will do all in their power “together” to step up crime-fighting initiatives in Antigua and Barbuda.

Upon request of the Honorary Syrian Consul, members of the Syrian community met with two government officials and an opposition member at the Syrian Club on Blue Waters Road on Tuesday to discuss crime in the country, following the murder of a Syrian man.

On Monday, Roudi Shmali, 26, became the country’s first homicide of 2023, after he was killed by an armed robber at the Pick N Mix superette on DeSouza Road.

Public Safety Minister Steadroy Benjamin told those in attendance at the meeting that the government would look at legislation with a view to increasing penalties for certain offences.

Declaring what he said was a “war on crime”, Benjamin also gave the assurance that the spike in crime that is currently being experienced will be fully addressed.

Meanwhile, some of those present believe that the use of marijuana is causing youngsters to have behavioural problems. The man who pulled the trigger and shot Shmali, who resided at Utopia Place, Sir George Walter Highway, is believed to be in his teens.

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