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Local businesswoman and director of Blissfull Jets in Miami, Sascha Singh

Minister of National Security Stuart Young has successfully defended a legal challenge brought by Shirlanne Sacha Singh against the exemption process to manage the entry of people into T&T.

Last Friday, the High Court rejected Singh’s allegations of bias and unfairness about Young’s handling of the exemption process. The allegations were found to be unarguable and without a realistic prospect of success.

This is not the first matter successfully defended by Young over the past few months with respect to the closure of T&T’s borders due to the pandemic.

In a release yesterday, Young reiterated the ministry’s commitment to the continued management of the entry of people into T&T in accordance with the exemption process and to uphold the law.

Earlier this year, Singh, who was a director of a private jet charter company in Miami, defended her company following the launch of an investigation by the ministry to ensure that companies like hers weren’t “tricking” desperate nationals with false promises of exemptions.

During a Zoom interview with Guardian Media in July, Singh said although Young was careful not to name anyone in his remarks during a Ministry of Health virtual press conference, it was obvious that it was directed at her. She explained that if the passengers aren’t given the exemption by the ministry they are refunded their money.

Addressing the matter during the Ministry of Health’s press conference on July 6, Young said he was going to ask the authorities to investigate whether persons were fooled or tricked into paying their money on the basis that, by the payment of that money, they would get approval to enter Trinidad and Tobago. He assured that “there is no charter company in the world that has the authority to bring people in with the individuals getting approval.”

In October, American jet company executive Jorge Quintero apologised to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Young for comments made about them by Singh. Quintero also disclosed that Singh was no longer affiliated with his jet service. He said Singh had assisted him but the company faced blowback following her comments against Government officials.