Mr. Dwight Cozier, who is listed on the NIA’s website as the Junior Minister in the Ministry of Trade and Industry with special responsibility for Consumer Affairs, Trade, Industry Import and Export, convened a special press conference in Charlestown on Monday afternoon, to try to rebuff certain claims that were being made in the media regarding the manner in which he acted during and after the robbery.
The robbery took place at Percy Jewelry store in Ramsbury, Nevis last Thursday, 30th August, 2012, at around 3:30pm when 2 armed masked men entered the facility and eventually made off with a large quantity of jewelry, said to worth thousands of dollars.
The account given by Mr. Cozier at his Monday press briefing indicated that while he was visiting the Percy’s Jewelry Store and was engrossed in a conversation with proprietor Percy Browne and his wife Sonita, two persons entered the store pretending to be shoppers.
“The individuals proceeded to carry out an armed robbery of Percy’s Jewelry Store. They were both dressed in very good disguise and I was there but I was unable to identify them,” said Mr. Cozier.
A release issued on behalf of the minister stated that after the ordeal, Mr. Cozier said that he proceeded to the law offices of Cozier and Associates next door, where he gave a detailed statement to the police.
“The police thanked me and said that my statement was very satisfactory and the matter would be under investigation. The police also provided me with a number if I thought that it was necessary to contact them,” commented Mr. Cozier.
During the press conference, Cozier said that on Monday morning he was contacted via telephone about a news item on VON radio that he described as quite inaccurate and misleading.
The Junior Minister is quoted as saying that since hearing the news item he had spoken with the Commissioner of Police, and he has requested a copy of the statement which he gave to the police and will bring the statement to the public.
“I decided that I would not only reserve my legal rights against VON radio, but I would call a press conference to alert the public to what really took place,” Mr. Cozier said.
Following Mr. Cozier’s statement, he took no questions from the media on the robbery ordeal since there is an ongoing investigation. He, however, fielded questions from the media on his new radio program.
It therefore proved impossible for the media in attendance to seek clarification on any matter that was raised by him or in the VON radio report with the store owner.
According to the store owner, one Percy Browne, “What happened was that they (the robbers) came and they tek all de gold… because they fire a shot after me wife head and it went through …the bullet went through the showcase. After it went through the showcase, I decide well, you nuh, let me cool out, cause ah didn’t want nuttin happen to me wife. If it was me alone it would have been something else because I might a get to kill one a dem but dey would a kill me too, but me ain’t mind…”
Browne said he had “a chance to chop one ah dem foot but…”
Browne also claimed that police had tried to interview the minister as part of their investigation and the account he (the minister) gave was not consistent with what he (Browne) recounted. Mr. cozier however dismissed Browne’s statement as inaccurate. The minister said that he did in fact provide an official account of what happened to the authorities.
Cozier’s version however, about his activities following the robbery, appears to be different to that given by Mr. Browne when he spoke to VON radio.
Though the release sent on behalf of Cozier did not indicate, it was also the report of Browne that the gunmen also robbed the minister of his jewelry. Browne also claimed that it seemed like an effort was being made in some quarters to “hush hush’ the incident. The store owner explained that he had to show the police the video recording of the incident so that they could have a better understanding of what really took place.