Local Government and Culture Minister, Senator Fortuna Belrose, has criticised a reported $EC 500 fine meted out to a French national, who was charged in connection with a bomb hoax on Saturday at the George F.L Charles Airport at Vigie.
Belrose said the penalty should have been ‘harsher’.
“I think the fine was too lenient, to be honest with you,” the minister told reporters Tuesday as she arrived for a sitting of the Senate.
“I know for sure, as somebody who has travelled across the globe, you just mention ‘bomb’ in any one of the airports or any place around the world and chances are that you will be taken off for a long time. I guess our authorities are lenient,” Belrose remarked.
She observed that as a citizen who understands the implications of bomb threats, the penalty for the offence could have been a lot harsher.
“That is my view and I maintain that,” Belrose declared.
According to a police report, on Saturday, June 9, 2018, about 8:30 a.m., officers proceeded to the George F.L. Charles Airport, in Vigie, for investigation into a possible explosive at the facility following allegations made by two French Nationals.
The police release said airport operations were suspended and a thorough search of the facility was conducted with no explosive device being retrieved.
The two French nationals were detained, and Philippe Gaston Grandejean was charged for the offence of “Bombs, hoaxes, sending messages or articles to alarm or injure other persons” contrary to Section 362 of the Criminal Code of Saint Lucia.
According to news reports, he was fined $EC 500.
His female companion was released from custody pending further investigations, the police said.