Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tivoli COE: Test Dudus' Escape Theories

The Tivoli Commission of Enquiry has been informed by both the then Minister of National Security, Dwight Nelson, and the then Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, that the security forces had no idea how, if and when the fugitive Christopher "Dudus" Coke escaped the dragnet imposed on Tivoli Gardens in May 2010.
Nelson too admits the there are a number of theories; but he does not believe that the security forces "know for a fact" how Dudus managed to evade capture.

  1.  Coke never left  Tivoli Gardens during the military- police incursion;
  2. Coke escaped via tunnels constructed as waste water drains -- exiting at a gully in Hannah Town;
  3. Coke escaped on land disguised as a female.  

ET #1:
This seems very unlikely given the intensity of the searches conducted by the security forces. Indeed if Coke had remained undiscovered during the military-police operation, then there would be no need to risk being discovered by venturing outside of his 'safe haven'.

Surprisingly, neither the then Minister of National Security nor the then Commissioner of Police gave any indication  that Christopher Coke could simply have left Tivoli Gardens before the start of the operations, say on or before May 23, 2010
Indeed if Dudus could have been "alerted" as to the imminent extradition request; and if he had watched the PM Bruce Golding's National Broadcast on May 17-- which indicated that the Authority To Proceed was going to be signed, he would have simply  moved (at his convenience) to an adjoining area and used cell phones and proxies.

ET #2:
 COP Ellington gave some credence to the theory that escape could have been via the notorious "Tunnels of Tivoli" by displaying slides of a tunnel during his testimony. Ellington, in response to quest for clarification, asserted that security personnel had traversed the unblocked tunnel which in fact exited in a gully in Hannah Town.

The legend surrounding this escape route needs to be tested independently. Sometime ago, a Commissioner of Police attempted to enter one such and experienced great difficulty aborting further attempts.
  • The Tivoli COE should explore this "theory"-- utilising a man of physical built  similar to Dudus and other gunmen who would have also escaped via this route. It would also be useful if the types of high powered weaponry utilized by the criminals could have been hauled, carried or otherwise transported through these tunnels.
  • Some strategic swabbing at the time could have detected traces of gun powder residue indicative of the use by gunmen or the transporting of  recently used firearms.
ET #3:
Now this one is indeed laughable at first sight. It seems that the security forces had no idea of the appearance of the individual they were searching for. One wonders if they were shown photographs of Coke.
  • The public was made aware of Dudus' attempt to disguise himself subsequently. [Have a look at this attempt]. Frankly, if that was the disguise adopted in the first instance, then it would not have gotten pass any member of the security forces, even in the den of night.  No amount of chaos, gunfire, mortar attacks could have assisted this disguise.
  • It would be of interest if attempts were made to ascertain if someone fitting that description actually went through the security check points ; and if that wig worn in the 'capture' was the same one used in the 'escape'.

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