The National Security minister, Senator Hermangild Francis has described as “unfortunate” videos that surfaced on social media over the weekend, showing a young St Lucian man being held hostage and tortured overseas in an apparent drug move gone bad.
Senator Francis said he plans to meet with the Commissioner of Police today to discuss the matter.
However he stated that the incident should serve as a warning to other youth that criminals in the drugs trade are vicious and the lure of quick money does not pay.
In the video the handcuffed youth is wearing what appears to be a blood-stained shirt and is pleading for his life.
“Mommy, tell Shawn pay the people for me – mommy, mommy, the people go kill me! The people go cut my head!” The victim says as automatic weapons are pointed at his head.
In another video the victim is seen lying on the ground while two men, one with an automatic weapon and another with a chain saw, stand over him.
Senator Francis said it was a “terrible” situation and he sympathizes with the victim’s family.
He said the situation should serve as a warning to youth to stay away from the illegal drugs trade.
“It just shows and tells our young people in St Lucia that yes you may get through once, twice, three times, but you gonna be caught. And if you are caught, this is some of the penalties that you will have to face. So it’s really not a good trade to get yourself involved in,” he said.
He said while the lure of quick money and fancy vehicles may be attractive, “those persons from outside are very vicious”. “they do not care who you are or what job you have, whatever they want, as long as you do not pay, you are going to have to meet the piper and sing the tune.”
He hopes the person he mentions on the video can come to his senses and make the payment being demanded.
Francis added that he’s very concerned about illegal drugs and firearms being brought into St Lucia through the Venezuelan drug connections.
He said the current political turmoil in Venezuelan has left many Venezuelans desperate and now they are coming to St Lucia.
There are at least three Venezuelans currently detained at Bordelais Correctional Facility, he said.
“This is worrying,” Francis said. “This is very very worrying. These guys will do anything and it stretches our armed forces so it is of very great concern to me.”
He plans to meet with the External Affairs Minister, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun and the Venezuelan Ambassador with a view to stemming the flow of Venezuelans coming to St Lucia.