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The government said it is providing support to the Dominica national under-16 team following an armed robbery on Good Friday in Castries.
The team was reportedly returning to a guest house in the city, shortly after having dinner at KFC, when a male armed with a gun accosted the team’s manager Fiona Vidal and forced her to hand over a bag containing about 14,000 in cash, travel documents, and other items.
No one was harmed.
Vidal said the robbery occurred shortly after they arrived on the island via ferry. She said the players were able to refocus and went on to win their first match against St. Lucia.
The team is playing a goodwill series against the St. Lucians. Other matches are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, the government’s support was revealed by Donovan Williams, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government.
Williams said his ministry is providing accommodation and meals for the team. He said the authorities have been in touch with the Dominicans since the incident occurred and that while the police are conducting their investigation, the ministry’s focus is now on the well-being of the foreigners.
“It’s an unfortunate incident. Obviously something that we would not have liked to happen,” he told reporters.
Williams said he is not aware that all members of the team have lost their passports in the robbery. He said based on information received, only the “passports associated with the management team” have been stolen. He said the “actual netballers” have their passports.
He noted however that his ministry will be in touch with immigration officials to ensure the team encounters no issue with their ability to travel back to Dominica.
Asked to comment on the actions of the perpetrator, Williams said: “I don’t know what you say to somebody who wants to do something like that. It’s a problem that we have in society, that all of us have to fnd a way to stamp out. We all have to say very, very publicly that this is unacceptable in our society … It’s not just a matter for the police, it really is a matter for all of us.”