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Four guns seized in Arima, Diego
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has announced that four weapons have been recovered as police and soldiers move against key criminal targets during the Government’s imposed state of emergency. Speaking to reporters after meeting with security personnel at Mon Repos roundabout on Monday afternoon, Persad-Bissessar said since midnight on Sunday, police had been successful with “the arrests of key criminal elements, weapon confiscation and disbanding of some gangs.” She said as the days of curfew progressed, the Government would conduct evaluations on the arrests and seizures. However, she said the Government had no intention of continuing with the purchase of the Offshore Patrol Vessels which was organised under the PNM.
Instead, Persad-Bissessar said her Government planned to buy smaller vessels which would provide continuous patrols off the coast. Asked whether she was worried about the loss of investor confidence because of the state of emergency, Persad-Bissessar said: “Not at all. I think investor confidence will be boosted as we restore our country to a place of security. I am not afraid of any initial loss of confidence, if any at all. “Right now our primary concern is the immediate situation at hand. I will do everything I can to deal with the criminal elements.” She said as the days progressed the Government would continue evaluations of the progress of the crime fight. “We recognise that the state of emergency can affect business operations but the trade off would be well worth it in the end,” she contended.
Asked to comment about concerns of a possible breach in authority by the police and military, Persad-Bissessar said an inter-ministerial team had been set up to ensure soldiers and police did not abuse their authority, sanctioned by the imposition of a state of emergency. She added the state of emergency would not continue more than an hour or a day than was necessary, adding: “Law-abiding citizens have absolutely nothing to fear.” Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said three firearms were recovered yesterday in Arima and another in Diego Martin. He said police were also pursuing leads with regards to the main source of a $21 million drug bust in South and the arrest of a 19-year-old suspect. Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj also said the army was committed to arresting the crime.
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