Home / Live Wire / Customs nab terrorist at Piarco airport; just before his nap time

Customs nab terrorist at Piarco airport; just before his nap time

A pro-active Customs officer might have foiled a potential terrorist threat at the Piarco International Airport on Monday when he apprehended a strapped young man in camouflage gear who was speaking in an incoherent manner and crying.

Of course, it might have just been his nap time. He is only 10-months-old after all and was being wheeled through in a stroller.

“We presented our customs declaration form and the officer wrote something with a red ink and told us to go to the red line,” the child’s mother told the Trinidad Express. “I asked him why and he said it was because my son was wearing a camouflage pants and that was illegal.”

The baby’s pants had a teddy bear stitched into the rear. Authorities have not confirmed whether it is a new terrorist logo or if Trinidad and Tobago should brace for an invasion from “Little Hip Squeaks.”

The infant was stripped of his pants and made to exit the airport in pampers. Again, there is no word as to whether his treatment ran afoul of Geneva conventions or how it compared to humiliating tactics frequently used at Guantanamo Bay.

Photo: One more time, sir. And please use grown-up words. What do you plan to do in Trinidad?
Photo: One more time, sir. And please use grown-up words. What do you plan to do in Trinidad?

“I think this is ridiculous,” said the mother. “I cannot understand how someone would look at a baby wearing that pants and think he is a soldier.”

It is not the first time a mother has pleaded her child’s innocence despite clear evidence to the contrary. Mr Live Wire thinks it was mommy’s duty to turn her son in herself.

Major Al Alexander, public relations officer for the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, said the offensive pants will be burnt at the stake. Maybe even hanged.

“Two laws that treat with that whole issue of camouflage is the Customs Act and the other is found in the Defence Act,” said Alexander. “Both are similar. Customs also confiscates camouflage on entry to any of our ports.”

It is never too soon to have a healthy respect for the law and to learn that, if you engage in criminal activity, the relevant officer will find and prosecute you.

Presumably, that exuberant Customs officer was on vacation when ex-FIFA vice-president Mohamed Bin Hammam landed at Piarco with over US$1 million in a suitcase and, a day later, close to two dozen Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials left with undeclared brown envelopes containing US$40,000 each.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. for all the persons who are saying there are stores selling it….it still is illegal. police and the policing arm of customs do seize it. the law has been there when we came a independent country. the wording of the law causes the seizure of clothing. look it up on TTBizlink

  2. The Law is the law keep it moving. We always have an excuse for the bs.

  3. On Old Years Night I witnessed a visitor being questioned on her camouflage LUGGAGE (could you imagine losing your main piece of luggage to this law?! Lol). The Customs Officer seemed pretty courteous from what I observed. After a discussion she was eventually allowed through. We have quite a few senseless laws in our law books from the early 1900s that need to be repealed. #i4TandT

  4. And greedy. Their eyes are too long, lusting after people’s stuff.

  5. Krystle Sugar Plum yuh see the bs

  6. They know that it is the law, parents set examples for your children to follow, now wonder why they are calling the youths today the “lost generation”, because the parents are also backward.

  7. It’s the law, and that’s that, Trinidadian ‘ s are too lawless, gets me sick to my stomach, but will go to the first world countries and be like prisoners or slaves just to get on a bus , train etc, so shut up, wunna need looking up.

  8. Why these idiot law makers don’t go find the people who selling REAL TTDF camo clothing to criminals? why are stores allowed to BRING in and SELL camo to the public?

  9. Rachel Whigham remember this? Hope u didn’t bring Liam’s camouflage lol. Or maybe he outgrew it by now. Else he would be going back 2 the cold, naked lol ☺

  10. Well, if you can’t enforce the laws you should, then ….enforce the one’s that don’t matter! Country awash in illegal IMPORTED guns and drugs, so better strip an infant in camos. Just to show you who’s in charge. Mind you, I’ve seen some BIG mommas in camo pants come strolling through immigration on flights from NYC, and enough material there to outfit a platoon, but NOT ONE WORD! So, go figure.

  11. I guess they focus on the most silly and stupid things to make themselves feel important. I’m just sorry that there’re not making cammo pampers.

  12. Yes, it is the law and yes, we must obey it, but that doesn’t change the fact that is is a primitive, stupid law. Up to now, no one I have asked could come up with and answer to my question: We all know it is against the law in Trinidad & Tobago to wear any clothing with a camouflage design, what I want to know is, why is it against the law? I mean why is against the law for someone to wear camouflage cargo shorts, or a camouflage vest, or skirt. Items like those aren’t military issued, so WHY is it against the law to wear them?

  13. This is an idiotic law… you have stored all over the country selling camo clothes. Second, for anyone wanting to impersonate a soldier he can get the real thing.. for a price of course …. ppl need to understand there is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.. what purpose is the law meant to serve? With that in mind.. a toddler … steupz…. is he going to pretend to be a soldier? Or are the parents making fake soldier uniforms and smuggling in the cloth one toddler sized pants at a time?

  14. Load of rubbish ,stupid law .Any serious terrorist can bring anything they like in large numbers anytime they want as the drug and human traffickers do every day .Besides the terrorist we have to worry about won’t most likely be wearing camouflage anything !

  15. The law is the law, simple as that. If you want to wear camoflague so bad, then sign up for the defense force

  16. It’s the law obey. You try drinking a beer on d streets in America

  17. Sabrias shorts last time lol. She had to change in the airport lol

  18. No camouflage is no camouflage. Does not matter who wearing it. The parents should have known better. There are signs up everywhere about this.

  19. Kathleen Ramkissoon ?? see it’s not you alone

  20. We should be well protected with law enforcement officers like that eh? Lol

  21. Well said Bernard Yawching, Lasana, jensenck, Amit, Yendor …I cannot for the life of me see how stripping a 10 month old serves the interests of national security… Especially in the face of the money-laundering issue….but keep calm and carry on…I can hear the PP using this quote very soon…..

    @Emma: this is definitely worth investigating then…. if true I would launch a petition on behalf of the baby! “Give me back my drawers!” Lol

  22. I’m aware of this law. I too brought in a PINK camouflage outfit for a little six year old. Needless to say it was confiscated. That law is useless and service merely as an inconvenience to citizens and visitors.

  23. Oooooooooh gooooooooosh!!! Did this really, really happen? Somebody please tell me that this is just a really good joke because hear nah, I was weak with laughter. I just cannot believe this really happened to a ten-month old baby???!!!

  24. There are some times when I have to question the reasoning of persons and this is one. We cannot become first world people with third world minds! We may be able to find dozens or even more instances where common sense will dictate to us what is appropriate or not and this is just one of those instances. A blasted teddy-bear on a camouflage outfit worn by a ten month old baby should hardly be seen by any officer or anyone for that matter as breaking the law…the substance of the said law in the first place is to prevent a breach of National Security and what breach does this size of pants and the wearer pose? And to those who are claiming that a lesson must be taught….what lesson to whom? The child is just 10 months old and for that matter we should stop the sale of toy guns during Christmas to 10 year olds…and what about the video games….and what about the movies with violent content…and what about the music and the posters and the list can go on and on for all the other comedians who think that the officer did such a great job! The very substance of the law was bye-passed by an officer who doesn’t have the common sense to realize that the law was created to serve man and not the other way around…

  25. Mr. Live Wire and all commenter who seem to not know as much as it is absurd, Trinidad has had this law in place since the the attempted coup of 1990, go check it out.

    • How long this law was on the books is irrelevant though. The only thing worth considering is if the law benefits society and if it serves the purpose it was intended to when it was drafted. No law should be above scrutiny.

  26. Soldiers and police impersonating themselves and going about doing all sorts of foolishness and crime! Who’s protecting us from them?? Stupes.

  27. This is what happens when we do not empower people to use their discretion or common sense. I blame the learn by rote education. That or he jealous the baby’s fly kit.

  28. Interesting that some people hide behind “the law is the law”. That law didn’t come on a tablet from Moses after a chat with a burning bush. Laws are made by man and they can become outdated or simply be badly drawn.
    Section 34 was law for a few days. Didn’t they change it though?
    There was a reason behind the camo law when it was first drafted. And it probably had nothing to do with 10-month-old babies. I see nothing wrong with the public questioning this and any other law.
    And I am not blind to the fact that Customs can single out a 10-month-old baby but is yet to file a report on a possible case of money laundering two full years ago, which was an international scandal and brought the country into disrepute.
    Forgive me if I do not applaud this Customs officer.

  29. Looks like common sense is not as common as i thought… another day in paradise….

  30. The baby was ‘stripped of his pants’….. – a baby….. this takes the term ‘child soldier’ to a whole new level.

  31. So question…seeing that we are located in the Topics and we have two seasons here(rainy and dry)…would grey and white colored winter camouflage clothes be seized in this country too? And if so,could some rather intelligent person proffer the argument explaining why and what security risk this particular color could pose here? And just for argument’s sake, what if someone wore red camo or blue camo or yellow even?Where would they blend in? Ok skip the blue..some “intelligent” person might talk bout the sea….

  32. If you read the law concerning this, it refers to the importation of bolts of camouflage fabric and not camouflage clothing. The misinterpretation of the laws of this land abounds even as we speak. SMH.

  33. While it would be nice to have indiscriminating equality for everyone, that is not a reason to disobey or scoff at the law. Then we’ll be playing the role of some of the politicians that we love to criticize, “They did it, so why come down on us…?” Just saying.

    • At the least, we are safe from 10-month-old babies in camouflage now. Round of applause. What’s next?

      • Dear Mr. Liburd, are you of the view that the law regarding the wearing of camouflage garments should exempt individuals of a particular age? If so, what age do you believe it should be?

        • I believe the law should be revisited so that it achieves what it aims to do, help solders in the execution of their duties, without being a nuisance to the public. The case of a 10-month-old baby being relieved of his pants, in my opinion, is not in the spirit of the law and is just silly.

          • I believe that we both should agree that the law prohibiting the wearing of camouflage garments other than by the military is not only to help the soldiers in the execution of their duties but also the law enforcement agencies, given the trend of criminals impersonating soldiers and police.

            I do understand the case of this 10 month old baby and your point about being a nuisance to the public hence I asked you what age do you believe should be exempted from the law.

            In any event, why is this instance a nuisance to the public especially when the parent, who should be the one under suspicion not the baby, knowingly defies the law.

            • The mother broke the law and was punished for it. But it brings into focus the point of this law. You say the law is also meant to aid the police. So why are people with clothing or other goods in purple, sand, red or other colours done up in camouflage print also ordered to hand over their property? Will the police mistake a lady with a purple purse in camouflage colour as a member of the Defence Force? Well, these are the type of incidents that have occured under this act.
              It is either the law is flawed or the interpretation of it is. This case, in my opinion, further highlights that fact and should prompt a rethink.

              • I do not believe the law is flawed. In establishing any law, every scenario cannot be catered for and there is the danger of creating loopholes if we should choose to tinker with the law to cater for situations that would arise, like this 10 month old baby. Additionally, as the saying goes, if yuh give an inch, people will take a yard, so out goes even the purse which is not a necessity.

                Camouflage in any colour is camouflage. Also it is not about the police mistaking someone as a member of the Defence Force but rather the public being conned into making that mistake by the criminal minded.

                • Anyone who believes that someone with a purple camouflage purse or red camouflage pants is a member of the Defence Force needs help from the Ministry of Education and not the Ministry of National Security. But I do take some comfort in knowing that at least this law keeps you happy, Anbrat. I suppose that means the law isn’t totally useless. Just mostly useless.
                  The few criminals who knock on the doors of victims and claim that they are members of the Defence Force have never been know to wear anything but green by the way. That should be a telling fact.

                  • Don’t lose it, Lasana, we are only having a conversation which is not about whether this camouflage law makes me happy.

                    Didn’t realize that you consider this particular law “mostly useless”. Your article did not allude to such an opinion. Different conversation entirely!!!

                    • I never mind a good conversation, Anbrat, and thanks for taking the time to share your views. I took your statements to mean that you were satisfied with the law and the way it is being used. I am not. Maybe I am in the minority. Maybe I am not. Once the law is benefiting some people then it is not totally useless. So I conceded that for you.
                      Trinidad and Tobago is one of the few countries in the world where bid rigging is not a crime. We have seen enough instances of the Integrity Commission, the Police Complaints Authority, the FIU and even the DPP being hamstrung by laws that leave these bodies short of teeth. Andre Monteil faces a $2,000 fine for refusing to appear in an enquiry on the CLICO collapse that cost taxpayers nearly $25 billion. Just some examples of some legal problems that might need remedying.
                      In my opinion, the law should stop focusing on the easy targets. Change the laws that has a Customs officers worrying about the style of pants a 10-month-old baby is wearing. And focus on going after the people who are really holding Trinidad and Tobago back from being the nation it can be.

  34. “Proactive” my ASS! This is what causes us to be identified as a “BANANA REPUBLIC”…the foolish things that we do daily! This customs officer is one of the biggest idiots that I’ve heard off for the new millennium!

  35. Watch na..this country sprinting to nowhere fast yuh know!! We bouffin’ diplomats in the airport..we making kids strip for wearing baby camouflage clothes…blasted CAL ain making any money but they could give out 19 free tickets to pals(and then try to justify it) and then of course at some point would request another bail out at the expense of the tax payer no doubt!! Duprey & Monteil enjoying their retirement and catching real kicks off this farce of a Commission of Enquiry while the Clico Policy Holders suck salt! Police locking up people who are liming under the guise of loitering(despite a detailed analysis & explanation citing cases et al by Ms.Seetahal in the newspaper) We still have loud mouth Anil talking rubbish and constantly disrespecting the leaders at COP(who are just a sorry bunch if u asked me)…Let’s not forget our beloved AG who has managed to somehow make being an AG(highest position after PM) synonymous with stupidity now(numerous faux pas..overbearing actually)…and last but not least our smiling, waving,dancing and singing PM whose legacy is being tarnished daily by these nincompoops that she herself picked and placed in positions to run our beloved country(while constantly contradicting herself in her dealings with Govt officials..Jack Warner and Colin Partap comes to mind immediately) Reshmi anyone? SOE? and sigh..then sigh again..Section 34?(shaking head now)…I’m gonna leave leave Warner alone today because that would be too much negative writing for one day..ain able na!! And to the sycophant who will predictably respond by saying the PNM did this and they did that..and Manning and Calder Hart bla bla bla….THEY WERE VOTED OUT!! And apparently some “new” politics was supposed to have emerged…(just made myself laugh out loud)

  36. This is what happens when archaic rules take precedence over logic. I’m going to wear green and stand in the bushes and see if customs will seize my clothing. Then I will wear black and stand in the shadows. Which makes me wonder if people of darker complexion should also be denied entry into Trinidad since nighttime is a common occurrence here.

  37. The law is the law regardless of age. Fact is the parents should know better. The officers did the right thing. Ive seen it done many times even on the nations roads where officers made individuals take off their camo wear and they seize it. I made the mistake once of traveling with luggage with a Camo design…this too was seized.