By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
A DOZEN Bahamians and a taxi driver were robbed at gunpoint while on their way to a Carnival event in Trinidad, according to news reports.
Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday reported the group was robbed of cash, cell phones, and jewellery sometime around 10.30pm on Saturday, February 10.
Among the reported items is a gold Rolex watch valued at US$10,000, according to the Newsday report.
"The visitors hired the driver of a yellow-band maxi taxi to take them to the Insomnia fete in Chaguaramas," it read.
"In Carenage, the maxi stopped because of traffic. A gunman and his accomplices entered the maxi and robbed the tourists.
"The assailants then fled the scene and the driver of the maxi turned around and drove to the Central Police Station in Port of Spain where he reported the incident."
Trinidad's Carnival is a world-renowned annual street parade event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, tomorrow.
Parties, called fetes, and other events are planned in the days leading up to the street parade.
The Newsday report indicated the Bahamian tourists were left shaken by the ordeal and were making arrangements to end the trip prematurely.
"The victims said they were advised about the crime situation in the country but never thought they would be victims," the report continued.
"Some of them told police that they came to Trinidad before and their stay here was incident free until now. They have vowed not to return until the crime situation is dealt with."
The report continued: "One of the visitors told Newsday, in (their) country people sleep with their windows open and move about without the fear of becoming victims of crime."
The report continued: "She said Saturday's incident will remain etched in her mind forever. The visitor was thankful no one was injured, but said she was anxious to return home."
The US State Department ranks Trinidad and Tobago's crime situation as Level 1, and advises its citizens to exercise "normal" precautions while in the country.
Meanwhile, The Bahamas is ranked at Level 2, with the US State Department advising visitors to exercise "increased caution" due to crime.
Investigations into the matter are ongoing, according to the Newsday report, which noted a team of officers was also responding to other reports of robberies from persons heading to the Insomnia fete on Saturday night.