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Trinidad: 5 charged in connection with ‘baby sale’ case

By NewsDay

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CHARGED: Adrianna Ragbir hides her face, with her attorney Subhas Panday, leaving court yesterday. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI/NEWSDAY

(NEWSDAY) — Five people were granted bail with surety in various amounts after they appeared before a Tunapuna magistrate on Thursday on charges of unlawfully arranging the adoption of a baby earlier this year.

The accused, Caribbean Airlines pilot Patrick Borel, his wife Daniela Parrinello, attorneys Kijana Da Silva and Anabelle Sooklal-Boynes and Spanish teacher Adrianna Ragbir appeared before magistrate Adrian Darmanie in the Tunapuna Magistrates Third Court.

They all pleaded not guilty to illegally arranging the adoption of a baby.

Newsday understands the baby is not in the custody of the mother and is being cared for by the Children’s Authority at an unknown location, while a custody hearing at the Children’s Court is finished. The child’s mother, who is Venezuelan, has not been charged.

This charge was that they violated section 9 (2) of the Children’s Adoption Act between July 30 and September 31. Borel and Parrinello were represented by senior criminal attorney Sean Cazabon, who argued that his clients had no criminal history and co-operated with police when they were arrested and charged at their Millennium Park, Trincity, home on Tuesday.

Court prosecutors did not object to the bail application, but raised concerns about Borel’s job as a pilot and the frequency with which he left the jurisdiction.

Cazabon said his client worked on regional routes and would be prepared to provide the court with a flight schedule. Borel is also expected to report to the Arouca Police Station once every two weeks as part of his bail conditions.

Parrinello, a tutor in Italian at the University of the West Indies (UWI), was subjected to similar conditions.

The couple was granted a total of $10,000 bail with surety. Attorney Keith Scotland, representing Da Silva, said with the exception of this matter, his client has not had any other issues with the law. He was granted bail with surety of $25,000.

Pamela Elder, SC, representing Sooklal-Boynes, said her client was a well-established criminal defence attorney who did not have any matters before the court and surrendered to police yesterday morning when she found out that an arrest warrant had been issued for her. Elder said her client was the mother of three, co-operated with the police and has a fixed place of residence in Cascade. She was granted bail with surety of $25,000.

Ragbir was represented by attorney Subhas Panday, who said his client worked as a Spanish teacher at the UWI Centre for Languages and lived with her Trinidadian husband at Preysal Road, Freeport, Couva. Citing her job and the fact that she did not have any previous criminal matters, Panday urged the court to show leniency.

She was granted bail of $5,000 on condition that she report to the Couva Police Station on Fridays.

The five are expected to return to court on January 16.

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